The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission has announced two open house sessions to provide information on proposed rehabilitation plans and travel restrictions for the upcoming planned rehabilitation of the New Hope-Lambertville Toll-Supported Bridge.
The open houses will take place at the following locations and times:
• New Hope-Lambertville (Route 202) Toll Bridge Maintenance Garage, 2492 River Road, New Hope, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on June 14.
• Riverside Ballroom, Lambertville Station Inn, 11 Bridge Street, Lambertville, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on June 15.
During the open houses, the public will have the opportunity to speak with members of the project design/engineering team, ask questions, and provide comments on the project.
Visual displays at the open houses in Bucks County and Hunterdon County will showcase general existing conditions, planned major project tasks, an updated project schedule, anticipated travel restrictions and impacts, the sequencing of work stages, and information about a programmable LED lighting system that will highlight the bridge’s architectural profile along the Delaware River.
After the open houses, the materials displayed will be added to a project-specific website established by the commission earlier this year. The website will be available at http://www.drjtbc.org/project/newhopelambertville.
The website will allow individuals who were unable to attend the open house sessions to view the materials and provide their concerns or questions during a two-week-long public comment period. The comment period is scheduled to end at 4 p.m. on June 30.
According to the commission, the project planning will go on to the final design stage after the open house and public feedback period are over.
The rehabilitation of the New Hope-Lambertville Toll-Supported Bridge will involve various major goals, including the installation of an architectural lighting system, the removal of the current walkway panels and their replacement with skid-resistant foam-core fiber-reinforced-polymer panels, cleaning and repainting of the bridge’s steel-truss superstructure, and repair or replacement of deteriorated or compromised steel components.
Engineering firm GPI/Greenman Pederson has conducted a detailed inspection of the structure in advance of the project, the commission said.
The engineers are reported by the commission to be currently mapping out a plan to fix deficiencies.
The walkway of the bridge will have to be closed during the renovation for an undetermined amount of time.
“The Commission cannot rule out that short-duration closures of the bridge’s two travel lanes might be necessary at some points during the rehabilitation. Ideally, the project can be staged in a manner that would impact westbound (Pennsylvania-bound) vehicular travel across the bridge only as a last resort. (Tolls are collected in the Pennsylvania-bound direction at the next closest river crossing – the New Hope-Lambertville [Route 202] Toll Bridge – roughly one mile upstream. Class 1 passenger vehicle tolls at that bridge will be $1.50 for E-ZPass and $3 for cash transactions at that bridge in 2024. Toll rates are higher for larger vehicles.) Eastbound (New Jersey-bound) motorists affected by rehabilitation project travel restrictions would have toll-free access in that direction across the nearby toll bridge,” according to a statement from the commission.
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.
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.