Turnpike bridge closing leads to Monday morning alert on 5 other crossings

The closure of the Delaware River Bridge -- I-276 linking the Pennsylvania Turnpike over the Delaware River to the New Jersey Turnpike -- has authorities concerned about five more area bridges that cross the Delaware.

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission issued a travel advisory for Monday morning commuters who travel on five of its bridges between Bucks County, Pa. and Mercer County, N.J.

You'll remember, Friday, the turnpike bridge was shut down after workers spotted a crack in one of the steel components, called a truss. It was below the westbound right lane's riding surface on the Pennsylvania side.

First, workers 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. That could take two weeks, and there's no estimate when the bridge may be reopened.

Because of the closure, more drivers have been taking the Trenton-Morrisville (Route 1) Toll Bridge and Scudder Falls (I-95) Bridge this weekend, and even more are expected during the workweek.

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission reports congestion and delays have been especially prevalent at the Route 29 exit ramp off Route 1 northbound, immediately after the Trenton-Morrisville Toll Bridge. Plus, it's warning storms expected overnight will exacerbate Monday morning travel problems.

Therefore, the commission put out an alert for Monday morning - 5am to 11am - and is asking drivers to allow extra time to reach their destinations.

The alert applies to the commission's five southerly crossings:

Trenton-Morrisville (Route 1) Toll Bridge (both directions)

Scudder Falls (I-95) Bridge (both directions)

Lower Trenton ("Trenton Makes" Toll-Supported Bridge (eastbound)

Calhoun Street Toll-Supported Bridge (eastbound)

Washington Crossing Toll-Supported Bridge (eastbound)

The 1.5-mile-long Delaware River Bridge opened to traffic back on May 23, 1956.