The PA Turnpike Commission advises motorists that it has closed the Delaware River Bridge, located in Bucks County on Interstate 276, to all eastbound and westbound traffic.
A fracture in one of the steel components, called a truss, was spotted by bridge crews from the New Jersey Turnpike Authority – owner of the eastern half of the bridge. The truss must be repaired before traffic can be allowed back onto the bridge. It is currently unknown how long the repair will take.
PA Turnpike motorists heading eastbound into New Jersey should use the below alternate route:
PA Turnpike motorists heading east into New Jersey should use this revised alternate route: Exit at the Bensalem Interchange, #351 in Bucks County. Follow U.S. Route 1 north, to I-95 north, to I-295, south, to I-195 east. Take Exit 6 on I-195, and reenter the NJ Turnpike.
Expect slow-moving or stopped traffic in the area, especially during the afternoon and evening hours.
Construction work is now under way to stabilize the bridge while engineers engage in a more comprehensive assessment and structural analysis necessary to determine a permanent repair plan.
The stabilization work involves adding new plates to reconnect the fractured truss piece to prevent further movement. The fractured truss is below the riding surface on the Pennsylvania side of the bridge in the westbound right lane.
A sample of the fractured truss has been taken for forensic analysis to help determine the cause of the fracture.
During this time, a comprehensive bridge analysis will be performed to better understand the global impact the fracture has had on the entire bridge; information gathered is critical to determine the scope of and strategy for a permanent repair and reopening the bridge to traffic. The bridge will be under constant watch and monitored around the clock utilizing a high definition video survey.
The PA Turnpike Commission (PTC) and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA), which jointly own and maintain the bridge, agree that the bridge will remain closed while the assessment continues. This assessment will take about two weeks before timeline for the permanent repair can be determined. Until more is understood about the damage, it is not possible to estimate how many days or weeks the bridge will need to be closed while the permanent fix is made.
Any updates on the status of the bridge will be posted HERE.