Government Transportation

NEARBY: Uhlerstown-Frenchtown Bridge Slated For Major Rehabilitation In 2025

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission has awarded a design contract for the 2025 rehabilitation of the bridge.

The Uhlerstown-Frenchtown Toll-Supported Bridge.
Credit: Google Maps

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission has announced a planned rehabilitation project for the Uhlerstown-Frenchtown Toll-Supported Bridge, a link between Hunterdon County and Bucks County.

With a history stretching back 92 years, the bridge is preparing for a facelift that is designed to extend its life by 15 years and enhance its aesthetic appeal along the scenic Delaware River.

Last month, the commission has awarded WSP USA Inc., a engineering consulting firm based in Exton, Chester County, a design contract valued at just under $1.8 million.

The design phase is expected to conclude in the fall, with construction bidding and contract awards slated for early 2025.

The commission plans for construction to kick off by late winter 2025, shooting for completion within the year.

The rehabilitation efforts will focus on repairing the bridge’s steel superstructure, cleaning and repainting to protect against the elements, and fortifying the bridge’s abutments, piers, and retaining walls. Additionally, the project will introduce a programmable LED lighting system designed to showcase the bridge’s architectural features at night, marking it as the third Commission bridge to receive such an upgrade, according to the commission.

The bridge was last rehabilitated in 2001 and currently supports an average daily traffic of 4,200 vehicles.

The bridge carries weight with restrictions that are: a 15-ton weight limit, a 12-foot-6-inch height restriction, and a 15 MPH speed limit.

The bridge first opened to traffic on October 10, 1931.

The commission provided the below history for the bridge:

The Uhlerstown-Frenchtown Toll-Supported Bridge is a six-span riveted steel Warren truss structure that was constructed in 1931. The bridge’s wooden road deck was replaced with a steel open-grate deck in 1949. The bridge is narrow, with a clear roadway width of 16-feet 6-inches curb to curb. A concrete-filled steel grating sidewalk is supported by the upriver truss on steel cantilever brackets.

The original bridge at this location was completed in 1843.  It was constructed for the private shareholder-owned Alexandria Delaware Bridge Co. (Frenchtown at the time was an unincorporated portion of Alexandria Township, N.J.).  The bridge had six covered wooden spans using latticed “Town-Type” trusses.  The “pumpkin flood” of October 10, 1903 carried away the two wooden spans nearest the New Jersey approach.  These were replaced with steel through truss spans in 1905.  The bridge’s original masonry substructure — five piers and two abutments — remain in service today.

This river crossing operated as a private toll bridge for its first 86 years.  The states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey jointly purchased it from the Alexandria Delaware Bridge Co. in a transaction facilitated by the former Joint Commission for Elimination of Toll Bridges on June 28, 1929 and immediately made it toll-free.  The states transferred ownership of the river crossing outright to the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission on July 1, 1987.  The Commission operates and maintains the bridge with a portion of the proceeds it collects at its eight toll bridges.

About the author


Leave a Comment