The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission is planning a rehabilitation project on the New Hope-Lambertville Toll-Supported Bridge next year.
The commission is looking to achieve four main goals, according to a statement:
• Repair various pieces of the bridge’s steel superstructure;
• Clean and repaint the bridge’s steel superstructure and underlying bearings;
• Replace the current fiberglass walkway panels with an improved system of quieter, slip-resistant fiber-reinforced-polymer panels; and
• Install a programmable LED lighting system to highlight the bridge’s architectural profile at night along the river. This would be the first time the bridge has ever been outfitted with such a lighting system.
In February, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission approved a contract with an engineering consulting firm GPI/Greenman Pederson Inc., of Lebanon, New Jersey, to put together a plan for a rehabilitation project.
The last rehabilitation of the span that connects New Hope Borough to the City of Lambertville over the Delaware River occurred in 2004.
The aging 1,055-foot-long and 27-foot-wide bridge has weight restrictions of four tons, a height restriction of 10 feet, and a 15 mph speed limit.
In 2022, the span carried 12,400 vehicles daily on average, according to the commission.
Given the extent of work completed during the 2004 project, the commission predicts that the duration and number of tasks required in the upcoming restoration will be fewer.
However, officials stated, in order to replace the walkway’s surface panels with a better material, the walkway will need to be shut down for an unknown amount of time. The bridge’s vehicular traffic is also anticipated to be impacted in some way, but the exact details of these impacts won’t be known until preliminary design work is completed in later this spring.
The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission has set up a webpage for the planned rehabilitation project. The webpage can be accessed at www.drjtbc.org/project/newhopelambertville.
While design work for the project is still in its earliest stages, the webpage currently provides an overview of the project goals, current schedule, and anticipated tasks to be performed once rehabilitation work begins at the bridge. The page also contains additional information on the bridge, some video, and a bibliography of published content mentioning the bridge.
In order to educate the public about the project’s goals, present renderings of the bridge’s proposed architectural lighting, and outline any travel restrictions that might be necessary to complete the project’s construction stages, the engineering team will hold two open house sessions – one in New Hope and one in Lambertville – during the later stages of the design process.
The commission said the public will be able to voice their opinions and ask questions about the project.
The bridge was built for the second version of the New Hope Delaware Bridge Company, which ran a tolled crossing for a little more than 15 years, including for pedestrians and bicycles. On December 31, 1919, the regional shareholder-owned bridge corporation agreed to a deal facilitated by the former Joint Commission for Elimination of Toll Bridges that saw it sell the bridge to the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey for $225,000. Three days later, tolls were eliminated. On July 1st, 1987, the states transferred ownership of the bridge to the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission.