NEW HOPE, PA – The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission today awarded a contract for expanding and improving the maintenance facilities that serve the agency’s heavily used I-78 Toll Bridge and approach roadways.
Opened in 1989, the Commission’s existing I-78 maintenance garage in Williams Township, PA has become increasingly cramped, inefficient and operationally challenged to keep apace of rising traffic demands along the busy interstate highway corridor.
The Commission is responsible for maintaining about 7 miles of I-78 in Warren County, NJ and Northampton County, PA, as well as the I-78 Toll Bridge which crosses the Delaware River between Phillipsburg, N.J. and Williams Township, PA. The highway segment is one of the most heavily travelled trucking corridors in the United States. In 2015 alone, nearly 2.9 million trucks travelled westbound across the I-78 Toll Bridge. Overall, the Commission’s I-78 segment handled approximately 24.2-million vehicles in both directions during 2015.
The planned I-78 Maintenance Garage Expansion Project involves the renovation of approximately 6,000 square feet of the Commission’s existing I-78 maintenance garage and construction of a 13,000-square-foot addition. Other project elements include:
– Installation of high-efficiency and fully automated lighting, heating, and ventilation systems;
– Expansion of the current salt storage dome vestibule to maximize its capacity;
– Improvement of emergency access to I-78;
– Construction of new storage tanks for brine and magnesium chloride, chemical mixtures the Commission uses in winter storm response situations; and
– Erection of a canopy between the Commission’s nearby toll plaza and the Pennsylvania Welcome Center that also houses some Commission administrative offices.
The project also includes other improvements to the Commission’s various I-78 facilities that are projected to one day also be integrated at the agency’s other toll plaza, maintenance and office locations. These include remotely managed systems for regulating heating, ventilation and air condition inside the buildings, and controlling motor fuel storage and usage at the site.
Joseph J. Resta, the Commission’s executive director, said the project’s various improvements would enhance safety for the traveling public and employees, reduce energy costs, safeguard the environment, and strengthen the agency’s response to snow storms and promote safety.
“There are regional and even national implications to this project,” said Joseph J. Resta, the Commission’s executive director. “That’s because our I-78 location serves as the critical link between North Jersey’s port shipping terminals and Pennsylvania’s expanding warehouse destinations in the Lehigh Valley all the way out westward to Harrisburg.”
The construction contract was awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, Bracy Contracting, Inc., of Allentown, Pennsylvania, for the amount of $10,049,000. The contract approval took place at the Commission’s monthly meeting on Monday, June 27.
Work on the project is expected to begin in July and take about 18 months to complete