Why Is the Delaware River Turnpike Bridge Closed & For How Long?

A large crack was spotted in one of the trusses of the Delaware River Bridge and now the bridge is closed indefinitely. NJ.com has reported, that a truss on the bridge (the bracing structure of beams below the surface) actually ruptured. Tomorrow morning, traffic will definitely be affected by the shut down. The bridge on I-276, which links the Pennsylvania Turnpike to the New Jersey Turnpike, has authorities worried about five other bridge areas across the Delaware River, according to NBC Philadelphia.

NBC also reports that the bridge will remain closed for at least two weeks to fix the crack and make sure the bridge is safe for motorists, but it will stay closed indefinitely until proven safe. Once the fracture in the truss is completely fixed, a diagnosis of the entire bridge is needed because Pennsylvania Turnpike chief engineer Brad Heigel has stated that the crack may have caused stress to be redistributed to other areas of the bridge. The crack was spotted this past Friday, January 20, 2017 during a routine check on a painting project, as reported by the PA Turnpike Commission (PTC) and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA).

When it comes to alternate routes, FOX 29 has reported that drivers have been taking the Trenton-Morrisville (Route 1) Toll Bridge and Scudder Falls (I-95) Bridge instead. FOX has also listed the following detour for PA Turnpike travelers heading eastbound into New Jersey:

Take the Delaware Valley Exit, #359; follow U.S. Route 13 south to PA Route 413 south, cross the Burlington-Bristol Bridge to U.S. Route 130, heading north. Take U.S. Route 130 north to Route 541 to New Jersey Turnpike Exit 5.

For those heading to Pennsylvania from New Jersey, Interstate 78, Interstate 295 and the Burlington-Bristol Bridge are a better way to go.

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission has issued an alert out to drivers who are commuting between the hours of 5 – 11 a.m. ET in these five areas:

Trenton-Morrisville (Route 1) Toll Bridge (both directions)
Scudder Falls (I-95) Bridge (both directions)
Lower Trenton (“Trenton Makes” Toll-Supported Bridge (eastbound)
Calhoun Street Toll-Supported Bridge (eastbound)
Washington Crossing Toll-Supported Bridge (eastbound)

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