YARDLEY, PA — The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission today awarded contracts for its upcoming New Hope-Lambertville Toll-Supported Bridge Rehabilitation Project between the commercial centers of New Hope, PA. and Lambertville, N.J.

The project’s construction contract was awarded to low-bidder Anselmi & DeCicco, Inc. of Maplewood, NJ. for a not-to-exceed amount of $25,072,471.06. A separate contract for construction-management/inspections services was awarded to Urban Engineers Incorporated of Philadelphia PA for a not-to-exceed amount of $1,209,964.08.  All project costs ultimately are paid for by the tolls the Commission collects at its eight toll bridges.

The rehabilitation work will take place on the 119-year-old bridge, at the bridge’s approaches, and at the bridge’s masonry abutments.  As part of the rehabilitation, a programmable, color-changing LED lighting system will be installed to highlight the bridge’s architectural profile along the waterfront.

Vehicular-travel impacts are anticipated, beginning with periodic off-peak alternating single-lane restrictions on weekdays as the contractor undertakes site-preparation work in December 2023. Uninterrupted travel impacts – including a 3-1/2-month-long walkway closure — are expected to begin with the onset of major construction activities sometime in January 2024.

The project is currently staged in a manner to allow uninterrupted travel across the bridge in the westbound (PA-bound) direction through the duration of construction activities. This planning accommodation is intended to prevent regular bridge users from being forced to pay tolls at the nearby New Hope-Lambertville (Route 202) Toll Bridge a mile upstream. Eastbound vehicular travel from New Hope to Lambertville, however, will be blocked at the bridge for much of the project and detoured to the non-tolled direction at the nearby toll bridge.

Two-way vehicular travel at the bridge is expected to resume on a weekends-only basis by Memorial Day weekend and continue through summer.  Under terms of the contract, all uninterrupted travel restrictions are required to end by September 19, 2023.

From January through early-April, construction activities will focus on the downstream (eastbound) side of the bridge. During this period, the pedestrian walkway will be shutdown to allow for the removal and replacement of the current walkway panels and railings. The project was staged so that the closure of the pedestrian walkway occurs during the period of the year when it is least utilized. The walkway work, which includes cleaning and painting of the facility’s underlying cantilevered steel supports, is expected to be completed in mid-April.  This should enable the walkway to be in service by Shad Fest, Lambertville’s major annual street fair.

In announcing the project earlier this year, the Commission committed to providing a temporary free courtesy shuttle service for affected walkway users. The Commission recently completed a procurement process for the shuttle and announced details of that service last week. In a separate action at today’s meeting, the Commission formally approved the shuttle service contract with Stout’s Transportation of Trenton, N.J. for an amount up to $351,148.25.

Two shuttles will be in service from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. From 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. (next day) on Friday and Saturday nights, a single shuttle also will be operated to accommodate hospitality sector patrons in the two communities.  The ride time between the designated pickup/discharge points in each community is estimated at 15 minutes. More information is at: https://www.drjtbc.org/2023/11/temporary-courtesy-shuttle-bus-information-announced-for-2024-new-hope-lambertville-bridge-walkway-closure-period/.

The forthcoming rehabilitation’s major construction elements include:

  • Repair various pieces of the bridge’s steel superstructure;
  • Clean and repaint the bridge’s steel superstructure and underlying bearings;
  • Replacement of bridge highway lighting;
  • Replacement of the current fiberglass walkway panels with an improved system of quieter, slip-resistant fiber-reinforced-polymer panels;
  • Re-anodizing of walkway railing and repainting of superstructure;
  • Replacement of approach sidewalks;
  • Installation of a programmable LED lighting system to highlight the bridge’s architectural profile at night.

A firm schedule and start date remain undetermined.  The contractor must submit its required contract-stipulated documents and, later, an anticipated work schedule.  This schedule could differ from the schedule that was submitted by the project’s design engineers for contract-procurement purposes. Various aspects of anticipated project staging also could change.

The Commission should be able to provide a start date for project preparations and related weekday alternating travel restrictions in early December. The start date for major project activities and uninterrupted travel restrictions should be available later in December. The shuttle service start date and some additional related information also should be available at that time.

The “functionally obsolete” steel-truss bridge between New Hope and Lambertville was last rehabilitated in 2004. The bridge superstructure has a 4-ton weight limit, a 10-foot height re-striction, and a 15-MPH speed limit. It carried an average of 12,400 vehicles per day in 2022.

The Commission conducted a public-involvement process earlier this year to inform residents and motorists of the impending project and potential travel impacts during construction.  A project webpage was established as part of the public outreach process and can be viewed at https://www.drjtbc.org/project/newhopelambertville.

The six-span, 1,053-foot-long bridge from New Hope, PA to Lambertville, NJ was constructed in 1904 by the New Hope Delaware Bridge Company, replacing a wooden covered bridge that was destroyed in the “Pumpkin Flood” of October 1903.  The crossing was originally operated as a privately owned toll bridge before becoming a publicly owned, non-tolled bridge in 1920.

The Commission has owned the bridge since July 1, 1987.  The Commission uses a share of toll proceeds collected at its eight toll bridges to operate and maintain the bridge and eleven other aging “toll-supported” bridges along the river.

A comprehensive slide show about the New Hope-Lambertville river crossing’s history may be viewed at: https://www.drjtbc.org/wp-content/uploads/NH-L_History_web_single-file.pdf.