The Northampton Street Toll-Supported Bridge (“the free bridge”) between Easton, PA. and Phillipsburg, NJ will be restricted to two travel lanes – instead of the normal three — from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 7 to Friday, Dec. 10, according to the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission.
Travel will be maintained in both directions whenever one of the bridge’s lanes are cordoned off. Left turns also are expected to be maintained, but these movements could be curtailed on the bridge’s Easton side if any safety issues arise. Travel impacts are expected to be minor to moderate because the reduction of a single travel lane is occurring during off-peak weekday hours, the commission said.
The upcoming travel restriction is needed to allow for measuring and other pre-construction preparations as part of an 18-month-long bridge rehabilitation project.
The project is intended to address deficiencies cited in recent biennial bridge inspections and a 2020 concept study. The major work tasks are as follows:
- Replacement of approach sidewalks.
- Replacement of ornamental/sidewalk lighting.
- Addition of new architectural lighting elements.
- Replacement and upgrading of electrical systems.
- Replacement of deteriorating fiberglass walkway surfaces.
- Substructure and pylon repairs.
- Joint replacement.
- Re-anodizing of walkway railing and repainting of superstructure.
Once fully underway, construction will take place on the bridge, at the bridge’s approaches, and at the bridge’s masonry abutments. Any protracted project-related travel restrictions are expected to end in 2022 with final completion in spring 2023. More information is available at www.drjtbc.org/freebridge.
The 550-foot-long, 36-foot-wide bridge is the Commission’s busiest non-toll crossing. It carried a daily average of 16,900 vehicles (both directions) in 2019 (pre-COVID) and 15,100 vehicles in 2020 (COVID). The bridge has a three-ton weight limit and a 15-mph speed limit. Bridge monitors are stationed at each end of the bridge on a 24/7 basis to prevent crossings of overweight vehicles.