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Mary 4, 2005 

WASHINGTON CROSSING BRIDGE TO OPEN CONTINUOUSLY ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2005 Additional repair work will require nighttime closures of the bridge beginning May 18, 2005

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, May 4, 2005
CONTACT: Linda Spalinski  - (267) 790-1006

MORRISVILLE, PA - The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today that it has completed work on the Washington Crossing Toll Supported Bridge to repair damage incurred during the early April flooding of the Delaware River. The bridge will be opened to continuous traffic operations beginning Wednesday, May 4, 2005.

Grouting operations on the damaged pier were completed earlier this week. The Commission had planned to conduct long scheduled repairs to replace the bridge's expansion joints immediately after the completion of the grouting operations. However, the Commission's contractor, J. D. Eckman, has experienced delays in the fabrication of the steel joints, which will delay the start of the expansion joint repairs until the night of May 18, 2005. That work will result in the closure of the bridge during the night to vehicular and pedestrian traffic from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am through the middle of June. Given the delay in the fabrication of the steel joints, the Commission chose to open the bridge to unrestricted operation - 24 hours per day, seven days per week - until the work begins.

The bridge was closed on April 7, 2005 when damages from the flood of early April were revealed. When the flood waters receded, diving inspectors were able to access the structure and only then could the engineers begin the development of the repair plans. The repair work on the damaged masonry to the pier began on April 21. Progress was hampered by a rise in the water level of the river following last weekend's rain, but the Commission's contractor adapted its operations to enable the reopening of the bridge on May 2 in accordance with the seven to ten day emergency repair schedule. The nighttime closures that began on May 2 allowed the contractor to do the rest of the emergency repairs to the damaged bridge.

"We are pleased with the efforts of our staff, engineers and contractor to expeditiously repair the damage so that the bridge could be safely reopened," said Frank McCartney, Executive Director of the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission. "Opening the bridge now without any scheduled closures allows for full access to the bridge until the previously planned repairs can take place."

The superstructure of the Washington Crossing Bridge, which connects Hopewell Township, NJ and Upper Makefield, PA was built in 1904. The substructures of the bridge, including the piers, are composed of rubble stone-faced masonry, and date to 1831. The Commission completed the regrouting of the joints and masonry piers of the bridge in 1995. An estimated 7,400 vehicles utilize the Washington Crossing toll-supported bridge each day.

About the Commission

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, formed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and state of New Jersey in 1934, operates seven toll and 11 vehicular and two pedestrian toll-supported (free) bridges along the Delaware River from Trenton-Morrisville to the New York border. These bridges carry more than 135 million cars and trucks each year. 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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