Turnpike bridge users advised to find alternate routes

- Officials in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey are advising drivers who use the Delaware River Bridge (I-276) that connects their turnpikes to find an alternative route for the foreseeable future.

Last Friday, the 61-year-old span was closed after workers noticed a crack in one of the supporting steel beam components, called a truss. It was below the westbound right lane's riding surface on the Pennsylvania side.

They added new plates to reconnect the fractured truss piece, to stabilize the bridge and prevent further movement, but the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission said a comprehensive analysis is needed to understand how the fracture affected the entire bridge.

Transit officials have said it will take at least two weeks for engineers to identify the cause of the crack and what other repair work will be needed.

On a typical day, roughly 42,000 vehicles cross the 1.2 mile-long bridge.

A New Jersey Turnpike Authority spokesman said morning commuters can continue to expect considerable traffic delays, especially those headed toward Trenton and Princeton.

FOX 29's Bob Kelly says warning signs are up all over the highways, but you should know your alternative before you even leave home.

Bob suggests if you’re heading east from Pennsylvania, take Route 1 north to I-95 north, over the Scudder Falls Bridge. You can also stay on Route 1 and take the Trenton-Morrisville Bridge to downtown Trenton. Locals can take the Burlington-Bristol Bridge.

If you’re heading west from the New Jersey Turnpike, Exit 7A will get you to I-195 west to Trenton, Exit 5 will get you to the Burlington-Bristol Bridge, and Exit 4 will get you to Route 73 and you’ll have your choice of bridges.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission launched a new web feature to give drivers live updates. Click here to see it.

Other alternatives are:
  Lower Trenton (“Trenton Makes”) Toll-Supported Bridge
  Calhoun Street Toll-Supported Bridge
  Washington Crossing Toll-Supported Bridge

The turnpike bridge opened to traffic back on May 23, 1956.

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