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November 1, 2010

Bridge Will Be Closed 8 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday Prior to Weekend Opening

Contact: Joe Donnelly (215) 862-7693 or Pete Peterson (215) 893-4297

RIEGELSVILLE, PA - The Riegelsville Toll-Supported Bridge will remain open without interruption from 7 a.m. Saturday, November 6, to 8 p.m. Monday, November 8, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.

The Commission agreed to keep the bridge open during this period at the request of Riegelsville Borough and the Kiwanis Club of Riegelsville to help facilitate participation and attendance at the 20th Annual Fall Roll Out vintage car show on November 7.

The bridge has been undergoing a comprehensive rehabilitation project since August. The structure previously was closed to pedestrian and vehicular traffic on four weekends in September and October. The Commission may employ up to two more full weekend closures at the bridge between now and December 1, but this upcoming weekend will not be one of them.

As currently scheduled, the Riegelsville Bridge will be closed from 8 p.m. Friday, November 5 to 7 a.m. Saturday, November 6. The bridge will then remain open until 8 p.m. Monday, November 8, when weekday overnight closures (8 p.m. to 7 a.m.) will resume at the bridge.

Bridge closure schedules are subject to change due to weather, construction, emergency or traffic-related considerations.

Motorists and residents who want up-to-date bridge closure information for the Riegelsville Toll-Supported Bridge Rehabilitation Project can call a specific hotline number, 267-790-1063. The phone number will connect callers either with a Commission representative or a recording of when the next scheduled closures are to take place at the bridge.

Motorists who use the bridge are encouraged to plan alternative routes when bridge shutdowns are in effect. A detour route is available for viewing among the "open house display materials" posted on the project web page at www.drjtbc.org/riegelsville.

The scheduling of six weekend and overnight traffic restrictions was favored by 60 percent of participants in a public involvement/comment process the Commission conducted during the summer and fall of 2009. The bridge closures and detours are timed so they will not overlap with another rehabilitation project that the Commission is scheduled to conduct at the Upper Black Eddy-Milford Toll-Supported Bridge in late 2010 and early 2011.

The Riegelsville rehabilitation project includes replacement of the bridge's floor system and sidewalks, repainting of the superstructure, repairs to the piers and abutments above the waterline, lighting upgrades, and signage improvements on the bridge's approaches. The various work elements are designed to maintain the bridge's historical characteristics. All project work is scheduled to be completed by Dec. 24.

The Riegelsville Toll-Supported Bridge connects the Borough of Riegelsville in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with the Riegelsville section of Pohatcong Township in Warren County, New Jersey.

The original bridge at the location -- a covered wooden structure -- was constructed in 1835. It remained in service until the entire superstructure was swept away by the flood of October 10, 1903, often referred to as "The Pumpkin Flood."

The existing bridge, constructed in 1904, is a three-span suspension structure with a total length of 577 feet. The sidewalk railing is actually a double-warren truss, assisting in stiffening the bridge roadway. The substructure, masonry piers originally built in 1835, were raised and built up in 1904. The pier nearest the Pennsylvania approach was almost completely demolished in the flood of 1936 and was subsequently rebuilt using reinforced concrete. The bridge is currently posted for a 2-? ton weight limit and handled a daily average of 3,200 vehicles in 2009.

About the Commission

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission was formed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of New Jersey in 1934. It operates seven toll bridges and 13 toll-supported bridges, two of which are pedestrian-only spans. The Commission is a self-supporting public-service agency that receives neither federal nor state tax dollars to finance its projects or operations. Funding for the operations, maintenance and upkeep of its bridges and related transportation facilities is solely derived from revenues collected at its toll bridges. The Commission's jurisdiction extends along the Delaware River from the Philadelphia-Bucks County line north to the New Jersey/New York border. The bridges carried more than 139.5 million cars and trucks in 2009. For more information about the Commission and its various initiatives to deliver safer and more convenient bridge travel for its customers, please see: www.drjtbc.org.

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