Businesses hit hard by Delaware River Bridge closure

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The closure of the Delaware River Bridge, which connects the Pennsylvania and New Jersey turnpikes, is taking a toll on nearby businesses. (WPVI)

The closure of the Delaware River Bridge, which connects the Pennsylvania and New Jersey turnpikes, is taking a toll on nearby businesses.

The span was abruptly shut down on January 20 because of a fracture in a supporting beam below the deck.

Jennifer Williams is the manager of Grays Liquors on Route 130 in Burlington, New Jersey, not far from the entrance to the turnpike connector.

She says the closure is devastating her business.

"I would say at this point it seems like our business has been cut in half, and I don't think we really fully understood how much traffic comes from Pennsylvania, and going back into Pennsylvania, was part of our customer base," Williams said.



Williams says she can't afford to restock the store when it's only taking in half the money it used to.
Business is down at least 15% at the Dunkin' Donuts right next door. With less traffic coming on and off the bridge, there are fewer customers.

"People who were coming here for the morning coffee we don't see them anymore. It has affected a lot," said Sid Amir. "Business has gone down."

Businesses are also suffering on the Pennsylvania side of the turnpike connector, particularly near the entrance ramp off Green Lane and Bristol Pike. At Bridgeview Business Park, some of the tenants are having trouble getting equipment deliveries because truckers must find alternate routes.
"The companies hire rigging companies to bring their big machines in, nd if they have to travel farther it costs more. So it's costing them more and it's making it harder to find people to bring this stuff in," said Russ O'Connor.

Pennsylvania Turnpike officials said this week that workers are building saddles between the 80 foot support towers that were erected, and the bridge itself, in order to jack up and realign the beam that was cracked.

They are working toward repairing the beam and installing a series of steel plates to replace the temporary splice.



Businesses on both sides of the Delaware River are desperate to get the connector bridge reopened.

"I worry about how we can continue to keep the doors open running at 50%," said Williams.

If all goes well the repairs are expected to be completed by early April.

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businesspennsylvania newsnew jersey newsBurlington City
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