Long-Term Lane Closures in Store for Walt Whitman Drivers

Bridge's span will be completely replaced and updated

If you drive the Walt Whitman Bridge, prepare to add some extra time to your commute.

Beginning in August, construction crews will undertake an almost four-year, $139 million project to completely update the span.

Delaware River Port Authority officials plan to completely remove the road deck and replace it with a brand-new structure.

The new 11,981-foot span will feature a lighter, jointless concrete road surface, a stronger structure and new barriers.

"Once this project is completed, the Walt Whitman Bridge will be as modern and up-to-date as any bridge being built today," DRPA COO Tim Pulte said in a press release. "It’s like building a new bridge without the cost of new construction."

The span will remain open during the three-year, 10-month long project, but there will be long-term lane closures, officials said. The closures won't begin until the spring of 2011.

The 53-year-old bridge opened in May 1957 offering drivers another way to cross the Delaware River into New Jersey. It's now used by more than 40 million drivers a year.

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