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November 30, 2012

Display Materials from November 28 Open Houses Added to Commission Website for Further Public Viewing

Contact: Joe Donnelly (215) 862-7693 or Ethan Vickers (412) 926-5730

EASTON, PA - The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission today announced that that the informational materials displayed at two November 28 open houses for the Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22) Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project are now available for viewing via the agency's website.

The uploaded materials will enable motorists, area residents and business owners to examine why the Commission must undertake the project as well as familiarize themselves with the anticipated construction schedule, construction work staging, lane closures, exit and entry ramp detour plans, project elements, and safety improvements.

Links to the various materials may be accessed directly at a specific webpage the Commission has created for the project: www.drjtbc.org/tollbridgerehab.

"While this project will be comprehensive and challenging, we feel we can carry it out without resorting to a total a bridge shutdown," said Arnold J. Conoline, the agency's acting executive director. "The trade off, however, will be a longer project schedule with traffic being limited to single travel lanes in each direction for protracted periods of time. For these reasons, we hope people will make an effort to familiarize themselves with this initiative and its potential impacts."

Conoline noted that the posting of the latest open house materials will afford the public an additional opportunity to submit comments and suggestions on the project. He said the comment period will continue for one more week, ending at the close of business on Friday, December 7. He said the "Contact Us" function on the agency's website - www.drjtbc.org - would be the most convenient way for members of the public to register their comments.

Engineers and project consultants Wednesday hosted two open houses - one in Easton and the other in Phillipsburg - in an effort to raise public awareness of the project and gather comments and suggestions about preliminary plans before project preparations shift into final design and construction.

The sessions consisted of a variety of viewing stations where residents, motorists, business owners and other stakeholders could speak with members of the project design/engineering team, ask questions and submit comments. The two sessions featured identical displays of the project limits, work objectives, existing conditions, detours, proposed improvements, and public involvement information.

The toll bridge, which will turn 75 years old in January, last underwent rehabilitation in 1990.

Primary elements of the rehabilitation project are anticipated to include repairing the deck; blast cleaning and painting the truss; installing a bridge drainage system; performing various steel, concrete and masonry repair work; reconstructing and repaving the bridge's approach roadways; and upgrading the toll plaza.

Construction activities are expected to begin in June 2013 and carry over into early 2015. The project is expected to require 15 months of single-lane traffic restrictions in each direction spread between parts of 2013 and 2014. Detours also will be needed in Easton during some construction stages as individual exit and entry ramps along Route 22 undergo work as part of the project. All lanes closures and detours are timed so as not to overlap with the lane closures associated with the nearby I-78 Toll Bridge PA Approach Paving Improvement Project. Construction on that project began after Labor Day and its traffic impacts are expected to end in May 2013.

The current total program cost for the rehabilitation project is estimated to be $29.6 million. This figure includes concept design, inspections, preliminary design, final design, construction, construction management and construction inspection, advertising, public involvement and all other project-related activities.

The project is part of the Commission's $1.2 billion Capital Improvement Program, which involves the rehabilitation and modernization of existing facilities, operational and service enhancements to optimize capacity and improve traffic flow, expansion and construction of new transportation facilities, and system protection aimed at safeguarding the agency's critical infrastructure and its customers. The program is funded solely by revenues collected at the agency's seven toll bridges.

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 137.4 million cars and trucks in 2011. 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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