Delaware River Bridge closed due to structural problem

Saturday, January 21, 2017
Delaware River Bridge closed due to structural problem
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The Delaware River Bridge connecting the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Turnpikes has been closed in both directions due to a structural problem.

Drivers were seeing red in more ways than one Friday night as brake lights lit up for miles through Bristol Township, Bucks County.

Commuters were forced to find new ways home after the emergency closure of the Delaware River Bridge.

"It's usually not this busy at all," said Maggie Kanak, who works in Bristol.

"I got off 95 a half an hour ago," said Patty Nowosielski of Riverside, New Jersey, who hadn't even gone 5 miles.

"I got off the exit and it was just kind of like this. It's never really like this," said Dan Rein of Bristol.

The delays began around 3 p.m. after a bridge painting crew found a fracture in a truss on the Pennsylvania side.

Inspectors worked into the night assessing the problem.

Meanwhile, motorists were initially directed to use the narrower Burlington Bristol Bridge, creating tie-ups on Routes 413 and 13.

"Now it's the weekend, I don't have to deal with the traffic, I can lay in the house," said Keya Donaldson of Bristol.

Turnpike officials say it's unclear how long it will take to repair the 61-year-old span.

Meanwhile, motorists around Bristol may get relief. Officials have suggested a different detour - over the Scudder Falls Bridge on 95. That's miles away, so Donaldson is planning for delays.

"I already wake up at 5:30, so I'll probably have to wake up at 4 or 3:30 to get to work on time," said Donaldson.


Pennsylvania motorists heading eastbound to New Jersey should use the following alternative 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.

Alternatives routes for New Jersey motorists headed to Pennsylvania include Interstate 78, Interstate 295 and the Burlington-Bristol Bridge.

For more information, Pennsylvania motorists can call 866-976-TRIP or 800-331-3414, or download the TRIPTalk app.

New Jersey motorists are encouraged to download the SafeTripNJ app or call 511 for more information.