DRJTBC - Delaware Water Gap (I-80) Toll Bridge ORT/Express E-ZPass
This traffic-congestion-mitigation project centered on the creation of an Express E-ZPass/Open-Road Tolling (ORT) lane along I-80 westbound on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware Water Gap Toll Bridge. The lane opened for service as scheduled on November 22, 2010 (see photo of first passenger vehicle entering the lane below) and all project-related activities were completed during the summer of 2011.
The project also involved the installation of new signage, paving and striping work, and a reconfiguration of the barrier toll plaza that had three lanes removed to make way for a single Express E-ZPass lane with shoulders.
During its first year of operation, the single Express E-ZPass lane was handled 50 percent of the westbound toll traffic at this location.
Construction activities and lane closures associated with this project were scheduled in a manner so as to not present conflicts with another Commission undertaking at the toll bridge in 2011 -- the Delaware Water Gap Toll Bridge Rehabilitation. The page for this project may be viewed here.
Express E-ZPass allows motorists operating a vehicle equipped with an E-ZPass electronic toll collection transponder to pay their tolls while driving at highway speeds. Because Express E-ZPass transponder readers configured for open road tolling can process 2,000 cars an hour as compared to 400 vehicles an hour by manual toll collection, the technology helps to reduce traffic congestion and delays at conventional toll plazas.
The new lane facility can handle all eligible cars, buses, motorcycles and trucks, except those carrying permit loads. The lane is accessible from the left westbound lane of I-80 at the Delaware Water Gap Toll Bridge, which links Hardwick Township, N.J. with the Borough of Delaware Water Gap, PA. The lane is for use by all E-ZPass toll payers traveling on I-80 westbound over the bridge and past the first exit in Pennsylvania - Exit 310 (Route 611 - Delaware Water Gap/Stroudsburg). E-ZPass motorists taking Exit 310 and all cash customers should use the reconfigured five-lane conventional barrier toll plaza adjacent to the new Express E-ZPass lane.
Owners of vehicles using the Express E-ZPass lanes without an E-ZPass transponder will be mailed notices for payment of any tolls as well as fees -- $25 per incident for a first notice and $35 per incident for a second notice. Unpaid or unresolved notices are subject to collection-agency processing.
Cash customers who mistakenly enter the Express E-ZPass zone have recourse to seek a one-time waiver of a fee - but the toll must be paid.
A project fact sheet is available for viewing by clicking here.
Work on the Express E-ZPass project began in August, 2010, but the Commission postponed project-related lane closures until after Labor Day as an accommodation for the region's tourism-oriented economy. Prior to the onset of lane closures, the agency removed the gates at the bridge's toll plaza as a traffic congestion mitigation measure. (Toll collection enforcement is now provided through a system of high-resolution cameras and near-infrared lights.)
Under the project, the three left booths at the toll plaza were removed and replacing them with a single open-road tolling lane and a shoulder that could be converted to a second Express E-ZPass lane if an overpass west of the toll plaza were to one day be widened to allow more throughput. The remaining five lanes at the toll plaza were redone so they would be able to handle both car and truck transactions and both E-ZPass and cash payments (mixed-mode).
The project's construction contract was awarded through a competitive bidding process to A.P. Construction, Inc. of Blackwood, N.J. for an amount not to exceed $4,388,437.31. Construction management/inspection services were awarded to Greenman-Pederson, Inc. of Lebanon, N.J. for an amount not to exceed $1,056,622.46.
The completed reonfigured toll plaza with a single Express E-ZPass lane is enabling the Commission to process more transactions per hour than was previusly possible at the location. Moreover, the set up is enabling the toll plaza to operate more efficiently as more and more drivers adopt E-ZPass as their means to pay their tolls.
A similar project at the Commission's I-78 Toll Bridge resulted in the opening of two Express E-ZPass lanes at the bridge's toll plaza on May 13, 2010.
The ORT/Express E-ZPass lane at the Delaware Water Gap Toll Bridge is proving especially beneficial during peak summer travel periods and special events, such as the annual Pocono 500 NASCAR race.
Design work for the Express E-ZPass project was kicked off in late June 2009, when the Commission awarded an engineering contract to Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. of Philadelphia, Pa., to provide final- and post-design services for implementation of ORT/Express E-ZPass at the bridge.
As a part of the project planning process, the Commission conducted a public involvement program that primarily consisted of efforts aimed at raising public-awareness about the project, potential traffic delays that could occur during construction, and long-term benefits.
The outreach included the creation of this Web page and an open house/stakeholders meeting. Project materials displayed at the open house are available for viewing by clicking on the following items:
The Delaware Water Gap Toll Bridge carries I-80 across the Delaware River near Stroudsburg, Pa., the bridge is the primary gateway between the heavily populated areas of northeastern New Jersey/New York City, and the Pocono Mountains resorts region and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area.
The bridge opened on December 16, 1953, the fourth of the seven toll bridges constructed and operated by the Commission. It is a dual roadway, multi-span, steel plate structure that measures 2,465 feet in length. The bridge carries Interstate 80 across the Delaware River near Stroudsburg, Pa., providing a gateway from eastern metropolitan areas to the Pocono tourist and recreational destinations. Part of the Appalachian Trail, the bridge offers both hikers and motorists a spectacular scenic view of the world famous Delaware Water Gap.