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Delaware Memorial Bridge rehab project gets underway

Mike Phillips - WDEL

A three-phase multi-year project on the Delaware Memorial Bridge got underway this week.

Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) spokesman Jim Salmon said the initial work this week will run in the evenings Monday through Thursday with crews setting up a northbound bypass lane in a contraflow pattern on the southbound bridge.

"By the time Friday rolls around, the bypass lane will be established, and at that point, work will begin on setting up barriers for the actual construction activity on the New Jersey bound span," said Salmon. "We opted to have three lanes going north and three lanes going south using one of the lanes on the southbound bridge as a bypass lane."

The bypass lane will use X-ramps on both sides of the bridge that were added when the second span was built, but Salmon said have never been utilized before.

Salmon said if a deck overhaul was done as opposed to the high performance deck overlay that is being installed, traffic disruption would be much worse.

"You would have to close sections of the bridge completely and that would cause a lot more problems than what we're doing today," said Salmon. "The bridge will be in as good a condition deck-wise as when it was originally constructed."

The work on Phase 1 is expected to run right up to the Thanksgiving holiday.

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