Construction schedule announced for 2024 New Hope-Lambertville Bridge rehabilitation project

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission has released the construction schedule for the 10-month-long rehabilitation project at the New Hope-Lambertville Bridge.

Under the plan, Pennsylvania-bound drivers will be able to continue to cross the bridge. Officials said the commission wanted project work sequenced so that it would prevent the free bridge’s Pennsylvania-bound commuters from being forced to use the nearby New Hope-Lambertville (Route 202) Toll Bridge, which is tolled in the Pennsylvania-bound direction.

New Jersey-bound drivers will have to endure an eight-month-long detour and use the nearby toll bridge. The bridge does not have a toll in the Route 202-northbound direction for travel into New Jersey.  The New Jersey-bound detour is expected to start on or about Jan. 29 and continue without interruption through September.

The project’s contractor, Anselmi & DeCicco, Inc. of Maplewood, has prior experience carrying out similar projects in the New York City and the North Jersey metropolitan area and has developed a plan to re-sequence the project’s work stages and their travel impacts.

Officials said the new Anselmi & DeCicco plan is an improved approach compared with the original staging plan for the project, which was developed and released last summer. The new schedule mitigates potential risks such as supply-chain issues and weather delays.

The schedule changes

Pre-Construction

The contractor has begun mobilizing equipment and materials at a secure location about a mile away from the bridge.  The pre-construction activities are now expected to end on or about Jan. 29.

Stage 1

  • Anticipated duration: late-January to May
  • Start of travel impacts: on or about Jan. 29
  • Travel impacts:
    • Bridge walkway open.
    • Pennsylvania-bound traffic can cross the bridge, but this westbound direction of traffic will be shifted to the bridge’s downstream side at the structure’s New Jersey approach.
    • The New Jersey-bound traffic detour takes effect. This travel restriction will remain in place for eight months. Eastbound traffic will be blocked at the intersection of Bridge and Main streets in New Hope. Begin-detour signage at this intersection and at the intersection of West Bridge Street and Route 202 to the west will direct New Jersey-bound motorists to the New Hope-Lambertville Toll Bridge and Route 202 northbound, which is toll-free for travel into New Jersey.  The full detour route continues to the intersection of Main Street/Route 29 and Bridge Street/Route 179 in Lambertville.
  • Confined work area: upstream side of the bridge truss
  • Major work activities: installation of containment/work platform below the bridge; scaffolding and painting containment on trusses, moving west to east; cleaning down to bare metal the bridge’s steel truss; applying a three-coat paint system; repairs; electrical and lighting work.

Stage 2

  • Anticipated duration: May to July
  • Start of new travel pattern: TBD/announcement in May
  • Travel impacts:
    • Bridge walkway remains open.
    • Bridge remains open to Pennsylvania-bound vehicular traffic after being shifted back into its normal lane of travel on the bridge’s upstream side.
    • New Jersey-bound traffic detour continues; eastbound traffic blocked at the intersection of Bridge and Main streets in New Hope with begin-detour signage at that location and the West Bridge Street/Route 202 intersection to the west. Detour extends across the New Hope-Lambertville Toll Bridge and Route 202 northbound, which is toll-free for travel into New Jersey.
  • Confined work area: scaffolding and painting containment on center portions of the bridge trusses.
  • Major work activities: cleaning down to bare metal the bridge’s overhead center truss sections followed by application of a three-coat paint system; repairs where warranted; electrical and lighting work where possible.

Stage 3

  • Anticipated duration: July to September
  • Start of new travel pattern: TBD/announcement in late June or early July
  • Travel impacts:
    • The bridge walkway will be shut down. Pedestrian traffic will be moved to a six-foot-wide temporary walkway to be installed by the project contractor atop the bridge’s steel-grate roadway. This temporary facility’s mirrors the bridge’s pre-2004 walkway width is six feet. The temporary pedestrian crossing will be situated slightly upstream of the bridge’s downstream truss sections, providing space for containment and work activities on the bridge’s downstream trusses. The commission also plans to provide a complimentary temporary free shuttle service 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily during this construction stage. The shuttle route and pickup/drop-off locations will be the same as what was announced in November. More information will be provided in advance of the stage three start date.
    • Bridge remains open to Pennsylvania-bound traffic in its usual upstream travel lane.
    • New Jersey-bound traffic detour continues; eastbound traffic blocked at the intersection of Bridge and Main streets in New Hope with begin-detour signage at that location and the West Bridge Street/Route 202 intersection to the west. Detour extends across the New Hope-Lambertville Toll Bridge and Route 202 northbound, which is toll-free for travel into New Jersey.
  • Confined work area: moving scaffolding and painting containment in work area along the bridge’s downstream trusses and accompanying walkway sections.
  • Major work activities: removal of existing walkway panels and accompanying pedestrian railings; cleaning and painting of underlying cantilevered steel walkway supports; installation of new safer and quieter foam-core walkway panels; installation of new pedestrian railings; cleaning down to bare metal the bridge’s downstream steel truss sections followed by painting with a three-coat system; repairs where warranted; electrical and lighting work where possible.

Stage 4 – Punch List

  • Anticipated duration: ending at an undetermined date in fall 2024
  • Start of new travel pattern impacts: TBD/announcement in late September
  • Travel impacts:
    • New walkway open.
    • Bridge’s two vehicular travel lanes open — one lane in each direction.
    • Intermittent weekday alternating single-lane travel controlled by flaggers on an as-needed basis.
  • Work areas: below the bridge’s roadway and with intermittent closed single lanes on the bridge’s roadway.
  • Major work activities: completion of project tasks failing to meet the commission’s specifications; completion and testing of a new programmable color-changing LED lighting system to highlight the bridge’s architectural profile.

The new plan and schedule for carrying out the New Hope-Lambertville Bridge rehabilitation project are subject to change due to unpredictable variables like emergencies, supply-chain issues, and severe weather and river conditions.