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Northampton Co - Easton-Phillipsburg Bridge Project

Published On: May 29 2013 02:39:56 PM CDT
Updated On: Dec 09 2014 03:26:30 PM CST

update December 8, 2014:

The final round-the-clock travel restriction for the Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project was lifted late this morning when work crews removed cones and lane delineators along Route 22 east between 13th and 4th streets in Easton, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.

The single-lane pattern along Route 22 east had been in place since March. For safety and logistical reasons, it was the only remaining long-term traffic restriction to remain in effect after all of the other project's 2014 work stage lane and ramp closures were lifted on Thanksgiving eve. The closure allowed work crews to complete a series of roadway marking and punch list tasks over the course of the past week or so.

While the project's 24/7 traffic restrictions are now over, work will continue to take place for several more months at the toll bridge and adjoining approach facilities in Easton and Phillipsburg. Total project completion is expected to be achieved in spring 2015. However, only short-duration, off-peak lane closures are anticipate from this date forward.

More information on the Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22) Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project is available at www.drjtbc.org/tollbridgerehab. To enhance communication with the public, the Commission also has established a toll-free question/comment line - 1-855-FIX-SPAN, a Twitter handle - @22tollbridge, and a project-specific email address - 22tollbridge@drjtbc.org.

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update November 26, 2014:

Single-lane travel restrictions were lifted this morning along both directions of Route 22 in the immediate vicinity of the Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.

Additionally, the last remaining round-the-clock ramp closure near the toll bridge also came to an end, once again enabling motorists on Route 611/Larry Holmes Drive to access Route 22 eastbound immediately before the toll bridge in downtown Easton.

These travel restrictions had been in place in one form or another since March. They originally were expected to remain in place until mid-December as part of the 2014 stage for a comprehensive two-year rehabilitation of the 76-year-old toll bridge and adjoining facilities along Route 22. But a recent warming trend enabled the project's contractor to complete a series of critical tasks, allowing a return to two-lane travel at the toll bridge three weeks ahead of schedule.

The only project-related travel restriction still in effect on a 24/7 basis is along Route 22 east between 13th Street and 4th Street in Easton. This uninterrupted single-lane pattern is expected to remain in place for another 7 to 10 days. This lane closure will allow for completion of a series of project tasks, including installations of raised pavement markings along Route 22.

The Bridge Commission's executive director, Joseph J. Resta, called today's earlier-than-anticipated lifting of lane and ramp closures a "pleasant Thanksgiving surprise."

"It appears that Christmas has come early for the motorists who use this bridge on a regular basis," Resta said. "The elimination of travel restrictions in the immediate vicinity of the toll bridge is three weeks ahead of the original schedule."

Resta gave credit to the project's lead contractor - J.D. Eckman, Inc. - and the toll bridge's customer base for helping to achieve an early end to the project's most onerous round-the-clock travel restrictions.

"There were few instances of outright traffic gridlock and only a minimum of accidents for a project of this duration and complexity," said Resta. "We especially want to thank our customers for the patience and understanding they exhibited while the project's various round-the-clock lane and ramp closures were in effect."

The progress of construction activities for the project's 2014 work stage had moved so far ahead of schedule in late October that the Commission held out the possibility of ending traffic restrictions before Thanksgiving. But a protracted spell of unseasonably cold temperatures in mid-November appeared to have dashed those prospects. The tables turned, however, when warm weather returned early this week, enabling the project's contractor to complete a series of weather-sensitive tasks that allowed the bridge's roadway to be fully reopened.

The Commission currently projects that it should be able to lift the one remaining 24/7 lane closure along Route 22 eastbound in Easton on or before Dec. 5.

Meanwhile, only intermittent short-duration, off-peak lane and ramp closures may be needed to complete a variety of remaining project tasks. Construction-related activities are expected to continue into spring 2015, the project's final completion target date.

More information on the Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22) Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project is available at www.drjtbc.org/tollbridgerehab. To enhance communication with the public, the Commission also has established a toll-free question/comment line - 1-855-FIX-SPAN, a Twitter handle - @22tollbridge, and a project-specific email address - 22tollbridge@drjtbc.org.

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update November 3, 2014:

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission today announced that Route 22 motorists may encounter brief traffic slowdowns this evening as construction crews remove concrete barriers from the work for the Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project.

Traffic slowdowns are scheduled to be utilized in both the eastbound and westbound directions during overnight hours -- 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

While single-lane travel patterns and related ramp closures will remain in place along Route 22 after the concrete barriers are removed, project-area demobilization is another indication of how the massive two-year project continues to progress ahead of schedule.

The project passed the 90-percent completed mark in late October. A firm revised date for reaching "substantial completion" is expected to be announced later this month. For motorists, the declaration means that uninterrupted, long-term travel restrictions will no longer be necessary. After that point, only daytime off-peak lane or ramp closures should be necessary. All project work remains on track to reach final completion in the spring.

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update October 30, 2014:

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission today announced that the Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project is now 90 percent completed and round-the-clock travel restrictions through the work area could end before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The last major project task - construction of the center section of a replacement approach bridge that carries Route 22 across Route 611 in Easton - should be completed within the next 10 days, weather permitting. The project's focus will then shift to final work tasks, punch-list items, and demobilization activities such as removal of temporary concrete roadway barriers.

"If the weather cooperates, this project stands a good chance of reaching substantial completion well before the original target of mid-December," said Joseph J. Resta, the Commission's executive director. "We're now at a juncture where we should be able to cease round-the-clock lane and ramp closures before the annual Thanksgiving travel weekend."

A firm revised date for reaching "substantial completion" will be announced in November. For motorists, the declaration means that uninterrupted, long-term travel restrictions will no longer be necessary. After that point, only daytime off-peak lane or ramp closures should be necessary. All project work remains on track to be track to reach final completion in the spring.

Site preparations for the massive two-year rehabilitation project began in June 2013. Construction work began the following month. Round-the-clock travel restrictions were employed along Route 22 for six months during the 2013 project work stages. Travel restrictions resumed for the 2014 work stage in March.

The Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project involves a roughly 3/4-mile work zone that extends along Route 22 in both Easton and Phillipsburg.

At the toll bridge, the work involves repairing and resurfacing the bridge's road deck; blast cleaning and painting its hulking steel truss; installing a bridge drainage system; and performing various steel, concrete and masonry repair work. Construction activities off the toll bridge include replacement of the deteriorated concrete box-beam approach bridge that carries Route 22 across Route 611 in Easton, rehabilitation of the Bank Street and Third Street overpasses in Easton, full-depth replacement of the approach roadway in Phillipsburg, upgrading of the toll plaza in Phillipsburg and rehabilitation and improvements to a variety of ramps and other associated facilities in the vicinity of the bridge.

More information on the Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22) Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project is available at www.drjtbc.org/tollbridgerehab. To enhance communication with the public, the Commission also has established a toll-free question/comment line - 1-855-FIX-SPAN, a Twitter handle - @22tollbridge, and a project-specific email address - 22tollbridge@drjtbc.org.

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update October 14, 2014:

Motorists may encounter traffic stoppages of up to 15 minutes during overnight hours TONIGHT along Route 22 west in the vicinity of the Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.

The intermittent traffic stoppages are needed to allow for further demobilization of the construction area that had been installed to carry out the two-year rehabilitation project currently taking place at the busy toll bridge. The removal of corrugated platform segments and supports was rescheduled to tonight because of an approaching wind-driven rain storm that is expected to pass across the region beginning mid-day tomorrow.

The overnight traffic stoppages are subject to change due to weather, emergency, and traffic considerations. Motorists should reduce their speeds whenever traveling through a designated work zone.

More information on the Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22) Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project is available at www.drjtbc.org/tollbridgerehab. To enhance communication with the public, the Commission also has established a toll-free question/comment line - 1-855-FIX-SPAN, a Twitter handle - @22tollbridge, and a project-specific email address - 22tollbridge@drjtbc.org.

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update September 26, 2014:

Broad Street in the vicinity of Route 22 in Phillipsburg will be restricted to a single alternating lane of traffic during overnight hours next week, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.

The travel restriction is needed to allow for removal of an under-deck platform that had been installed to allow for structural repairs and painting at the viaduct that carries Route 22 across Broad Street. The temporary construction structure had been installed as part of the comprehensive rehabilitation project that has been taking place at the Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22) Toll Bridge since the summer of last year.

The alternating single-lane travel pattern along Broad Street will be in effect on a nightly basis between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. beginning Monday, Sept. 29, and continuing through Thursday, Oct. 2. Flaggers and Phillipsburg police will be deployed to help control and direct the alternating lane pattern.

The travel restrictions are subject to change due to weather, emergency, and traffic considerations. Motorists should reduce their speeds whenever traveling through a designated work zone.

More information on the Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22) Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project is available at www.drjtbc.org/tollbridgerehab. To enhance communication with the public, the Commission also has established a toll-free question/comment line - 1-855-FIX-SPAN, a Twitter handle - @22tollbridge, and a project-specific email address - 22tollbridge@drjtbc.org.

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update August 18, 2014:

The Fourth Street on ramp to Route 22 west will be closed 8 a.m. to noon tomorrow - Tuesday, August 19 - for repaving work as part of the rehabilitation project currently taking place at the Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.

Motorists seeking to access Route 22 west from downtown Easton during the closure period are advised to travel to the highway's 13th Street interchange via Northampton Street or Wood Avenue.

The ramp closure is an extension of repaving and roadway striping work currently taking place along Snyder Street, an adjoining thoroughfare the Commission owns and maintains in downtown in Easton. Portions of Snyder Street are closed 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Wednesday, August 20 for these paving activities.

Motorists planning to use Snyder Street and the adjoining Fourth Street on ramp to Route 22 west during the aforementioned closure periods are advised to allow extra time to reach their destinations.

The scheduled travel-restrictions are subject to change due to weather, emergency, and traffic considerations. Motorists should reduce their speeds whenever traveling through a designated work zone.

More information on the Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22) Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project is available at www.drjtbc.org/tollbridgerehab. To enhance communication with the public, the Commission also has established a toll-free question/comment line - 1-855-FIX-SPAN, a Twitter handle - @22tollbridge, and a project-specific email address - 22tollbridge@drjtbc.org.

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update July 28, 2014:

Continuing progress on the Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project will allow for the reopening of the Route 22 westbound exit ramp to Route 611 and the reopening of the Riverside Drive/Route 611 underpass beneath Route 22 at toll bridge's western end tomorrow morning, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.

Shortly after the ramp and underpass are reopened, the Snyder Street exit ramp from Route 22 westbound will be closed to traffic and a detour route for Snyder Street exit-ramp traffic will be established along city streets in Easton. The Snyder Street ramp closure and corresponding detour route pattern is expected to remain in place for roughly a month.

The traffic pattern changes are scheduled to go into effect around 6 a.m. Tuesday, July 29.

The Route 22 westbound off-ramp to Route 611 and the nearby underpass beneath Route 22 have been closed to traffic for four months to allow for execution of a series of construction tasks associated with the comprehensive rehabilitation project taking place in the area of the Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge. A major facet of this work involved replacement of the upstream portion of the former concrete box-beam bridge that carried Route 22 traffic across Route 611/Riverside Drive.

The impending closure of the Snyder Street ramp exit will enable construction crews to perform a series of repairs and improvements. This will include repair of concrete slabs, storm-drainage improvements, guiderail installations, placement of an impact attenuator at the exit's gore area, and milling and repaving.

The approved Snyder Street exit ramp detour will instruct motorists to take the reopened Route 611 exit ramp instead. The detour will then direct traffic to the Route 611/Riverside Drive underpass beneath Route 22 to Spring Garden Street and ultimately Third Street, where traffic will turn right to access Snyder Street on the other side of Route 22.

The scheduled traffic pattern changes are subject to change due to weather, traffic conditions and emergencies. Motorists are urged to reduce their speeds and use caution when travelling through active work zones.

Project Status Update

The goal is to complete the work at the Snyder Street exit ramp in a month, so that it may be reopened in time for the Labor Day weekend. After the holiday, the Route 611 exit ramp and the Route 611/Riverside Drive underpass will again close to allow for completion of the remaining center section of the former concrete box beam approach bridge at the toll bridge's immediate western end.

At this juncture, the project's construction activities have surpassed the 70-percent completed threshold and the Commission anticipates that it may be possible to reach substantial completion - the point when round-the-clock lane closures are no longer necessary - before the original mid-December target date.

More information on the rehabilitation project is available at www.drjtbc.org/tollbridgerehab. To enhance communication with the public, the Commission also has established a toll-free question/comment line - 1-855-FIX-SPAN, a Twitter handle - @22tollbridge, and a project-specific email address - 22tollbridge@drjtbc.org.

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update June 27, 2014:

Two Route 22 ramps on the New Jersey side of the Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge will be closed for paving work early next week, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.

The Broad Street exit ramp from Route 22 east in Phillipsburg will be subjected to a continuous round-the-clock beginning 6 a.m. Monday, June 30, and ending 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 2.

Meanwhile, the on-ramp to Route 22 west from Third Street/Memorial Parkway in Phillipsburg will be closed between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily on Monday, June 30; Tuesday, July 1, and Wednesday, July 2. The schedule at this ramp is such that it will allow for highway access during the evening peak traffic period in the westbound direction.

Motorists are urged to use alternate routes when the respective ramps are closed.

The scheduled travel restrictions are subject to change due to weather, traffic conditions and emergencies. Motorists are urged to reduce their speeds and use caution when travelling through active work zones.

The closures are needed to allow for milling and repaving at the two ramps as one facet of the Easton-Phillipsburg [Route 22] Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project currently in its second year of execution.

More information on the rehabilitation project is available at www.drjtbc.org/tollbridgerehab. To enhance communication with the public, the Commission also has established a toll-free question/comment line - 1-855-FIX-SPAN, a Twitter handle - @22tollbridge, and a project-specific email address - 22tollbridge@drjtbc.org.

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update June 20, 2014:

The Broad Street exit ramp from Route 22 East in Phillipsburg is scheduled to be shut down Monday to Thursday next week, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.

The scheduled ramp closure is set to begin 6 a.m. June 23, and continue to be in place until 4 p.m. June 26. Motorists are urged to use alternate routes when the ramp is closed.

The ramp shutdown is subject to change due to weather, traffic conditions and emergencies. Motorists are urged to reduce their speeds and use caution when travelling through active work zones.

The ramp closure is needed to carry out a series of construction activities associated with the Easton-Phillipsburg [Route 22] Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project. This work includes storm sewer inlet removal and replacement, concrete curb removal and replacement, and guiderail replacement.

More information on the rehabilitation project is available at www.drjtbc.org/tollbridgerehab. To enhance communication with the public, the Commission also has established a toll-free question/comment line - 1-855-FIX-SPAN, a Twitter handle - @22tollbridge, and a project-specific email address - 22tollbridge@drjtbc.org.

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update May 7, 2014:

Motorists may encounter traffic stoppages of up to 15 minutes during overnight hours late Wednesday into early Thursday along both directions of Route 22 at the Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge.

The travel restrictions are needed to allow contractors to cleanse the roadway surface of project-related residue.

Each intermittent traffic stoppages may last up to 15-minutes. The stoppages will be at various intervals along either direction of Route 22 between 10 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, and 2 a.m. Thursday, May 8.

Motorists planning to use Route 22 in the Easton-Phillipsburg during this period are advised to allow extra time to reach their destinations or use alternative routes.

The scheduled travel-restriction start dates and times are subject to change due to weather, emergency, and traffic considerations. Motorists should reduce their speeds whenever traveling through a designated work zone.

More information on the Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22) Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project is available at www.drjtbc.org/tollbridgerehab. To enhance communication with the public, the Commission also has established a toll-free question/comment line - 1-855-FIX-SPAN, a Twitter handle - @22tollbridge, and a project-specific email address - 22tollbridge@drjtbc.org.

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update May 1, 2014:

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced two kernels of good news about the progress on its Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project.

First, the split traffic pattern on the Route 22 westbound approach to the bridge's toll plaza in Phillipsburg is expected to be lifted during the overnight hours tonight.

The split pattern had been established in early April to allow for replacement of concrete pavement slabs before and after the plaza's center toll collection lane. The roadway split, however, limited to the ability of cash-paying motorists to pay their tolls at the toll plaza, requiring them to use only the right approach lane. The left lane in the split pattern provided access solely to two E-ZPass-only lanes.

Last month's split-travel pattern was generally considered the project's toughest overall phase from a traffic management perspective. Upon removal of the concrete-barriers that divided Route 22 west into two separate lanes, motorists will once again have unfettered access to two E-ZPass-only lanes and at least two mixed-mode lanes that accept both cash and E-ZPass.

The next phase of work activities in the toll plaza area will only require the far right toll collection lane and its entry and exit pavement sections to be closed to traffic.

The second morsel of good news is that the total amount of completed work tasks for the nearly two-year project has now reached the half-way point. The progress list includes the following work elements that have been completed or substantially completed:

- Replacement of structural steel sections beneath the toll bridge and the approach viaduct on the New Jersey side;

- Complete rehabilitation of a third of the bridge's travel lanes and partial rehabilitation of another third;

- Rehabilitation of the Route 22 eastbound entry ramps in Easton;

- Repainting of the bridge's lower downstream sections;

- Rehabilitation of the eastbound approach roadway;

- More than half of the reconstruction of a new approach bridge that carries Route 22 traffic across Route 611 in Easton.

Work on the project began in the early summer of last year, necessitating single-lane travel along each direction of Route 22 from July into December. After a winter hiatus that allowed for two-lane travel along each direction of Route 22, construction activities ramped up again in early March with the reinstitution of single-lane travel along each direction of Route 22. A variety of other travel restrictions also are being imposed during various work phases of the project. All traffic-related impacts are expected to come to an end in mid-December of this year. Final project work activities that carry on into the spring of 2015 are not expected to require any long-term travel restrictions.

The roughly $30 million project involves a three-quarter mile work zone that includes the toll bridge, adjoining portions of Route 22, a variety of entry and exit ramps, the toll plaza, and several smaller approach bridges.

More information on the Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22) Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project is available at www.drjtbc.org/tollbridgerehab. To enhance communication with the public, the Commission also has established a toll-free question/comment line - 1-855-FIX-SPAN, a Twitter handle - @22tollbridge, and a project-specific email address - 22tollbridge@drjtbc.org.

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update April 26,2014:

A second toll collection lane will need to be closed during off-peak daytime early next week at the toll plaza on the Route 22 westbound approach for the Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.

The center toll collection lane at the plaza is already cordoned off to motorists. But between the hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, April, 28; Tuesday, April 29; and Wednesday, April 30, the collection immediately to the right of the center lane also will be closed.

The closure is needed to allow for replacement of the concrete slab between the toll lanes and the installation of a new impact attenuator in front of the toll booth at that location. The travel restriction cause some delays for cash-paying customers at the toll plaza, however, significant traffic congestion is not expected six-hour-long toll lane closure periods will be restricted to off-peak travel times.

The work is part of a comprehensive two-year rehabilitation project currently taking place at the toll bridge. This facet of work, once completed later in the week, should allow for removal of the split travel pattern that is currently in place on the Route 22 westbound approach to the toll plaza on the bridge's Phillipsburg side.

More information on the Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22) Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project is available at www.drjtbc.org/tollbridgerehab. To enhance communication with the public, the Commission also has established a toll-free question/comment line - 1-855-FIX-SPAN, a Twitter handle - @22tollbridge, and a project-specific email address - 22tollbridge@drjtbc.org.
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update April 21, 2014:

Motorists may encounter traffic stoppages of up to 15 minutes during overnight hours late Wednesday into early Thursday along both directions of Route 22 at the Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.

The travel restrictions are needed to allow contractors to move heavy equipment into and out of the work zone for the rehabilitation project currently taking place at the toll bridge and adjoining portions of Route 22.

Intermittent traffic stoppages of up to 15-minute durations may be employed along either direction of Route 22 from 10 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, to 1 a.m. Thursday, April 24.

Motorists planning to use Route 22 in the Easton-Phillipsburg during this period are advised to allow extra time to reach their destinations or use alternative routes.

The scheduled travel-restriction start dates and times are subject to change due to weather, emergency, and traffic considerations. Motorists should reduce their speeds whenever traveling through a designated work zone.

More information on the Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22) Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project is available at www.drjtbc.org/tollbridgerehab. To enhance communication with the public, the Commission also has established a toll-free question/comment line - 1-855-FIX-SPAN, a Twitter handle - @22tollbridge, and a project-specific email address - 22tollbridge@drjtbc.org.
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update April 8, 2014:

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission today warned job commuters to plan ahead and allow extra time to reach their destinations if they plan to use Route 22 westbound at the Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge during the Wednesday evening peak travel period - 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Wednesday evening will mark the first time that job commuters will encounter a new split traffic pattern on the Route 22 westbound approach to the bridge's toll plaza in Phillipsburg. This particular new pattern will require all cash customers to move into the right lane before the roadway is split into two concrete-barrier-separated chutes east of the toll plaza area. The left lane at the roadway split will provide access to E-ZPass-only toll lanes. Cash customers will have no choice but to continue through E-Pass collection lanes if they fail to move right before the highway split.

Establishment of the new split pattern along Route 22 west in Phillipsburg is scheduled to begin immediately following today's evening peak commuting period - at roughly 7 p.m.

The potential for increased traffic congestion and driving delays often arises whenever new travel patterns are established and job commuters encounter the changes for the first time. This will occur for the first time late Wednesday afternoon.

The Commission is urging evening job commuters to plan ahead by allowing more time to reach their destinations, altering their commutes to another time, or using the I-78 Toll Bridge as an alternate travel route if at all possible.

To raise commuter awareness of the situation, the project contractor will install a series of fixed-metal and portable electronic signs along Route 22 westbound in Phillipsburg to warn motorists about the approaching roadway split and the need for cash-paying customers to use only the right lane. Handout cards warning of the impending split travel pattern also are being distributed to cash customers at the toll plaza. Additionally, a Twitter message has been sent to individuals who requested updates through that social media outlet.

The split-pattern is necessary to enable work crews to rehabilitated worn and damaged pavement sections in the toll plaza's center collection lane. An extended concrete-barricaded construction zone will be put into place before and after the toll plaza, splitting the toll plaza into two distinct sections, with two E-ZPass-only lanes on the left side of the cordoned work area and two mixed-mode (combined cash/E-ZPass) lanes on the right side.

More information on the Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22) Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project is available at www.drjtbc.org/tollbridgerehab.
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update April 7, 2014:

Cash toll payers at the Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge will need to stay alert and keep right beginning Tuesday night when a new split-traffic pattern is established on the Route 22 westbound approach to the bridge's toll plaza in Phillipsburg, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.

(Note: This split travel pattern originally was expected to take effect 7 p.m. tonight (Monday), but the scheduled implementation has been postponed an additional day due to rain forecasts.)

The split-pattern is necessary to enable work crews to rehabilitated worn and damaged pavement sections in the toll plaza's center collection lane. An extended concrete-barricaded construction zone will be put into place before and after the toll plaza. This island-like area effectively will split the toll plaza into two distinct sections, with two E-ZPass-only lanes on the left side of the cordoned work area and two mixed-mode (combined cash/E-ZPass) lanes on the right side.

As a result, it will be necessary to split Route 22 westbound into two separate lanes well ahead of the toll plaza. The taper splitting the two-lane highway into two concrete-barrier-separated chutes will begin shortly after the last New Jersey exit in Phillipsburg. All cash motorists will need to keep right at this point and use the right lane to pay cash at the toll plaza. Cash customers who fail to heed warning signs along the roadway and then use the left lane to reach the toll plaza will be blocked off from any cash-collection lanes. They will have no choice but to go through the E-ZPass-only lanes ahead.

The new split traffic pattern is scheduled to be put into place 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 8. Once established, it is expected to remain in place until the end of April.

A series of fixed-metal and portable electronic signs will be posted along Route 22 westbound in Phillipsburg to warn motorists about the approaching roadway split and the need for cash-paying customers to use only the right lane. Handout cards warning of the impending split travel pattern also will be distributed to cash customers at the toll plaza during this evening's peak travel period.

The center toll plaza lane work is one element of a multi-faceted rehabilitation project currently underway at the Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge and related approach facilities along Route 22.

The scheduled travel-restriction start dates and times are subject to change due to weather, emergency, and traffic considerations. Motorists should reduce their speeds whenever traveling through a designated work zone.

More information on the Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22) Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project is available at www.drjtbc.org/tollbridgerehab.

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update April 3, 2014:

The Broad Street exit ramp from Route 22 East in Phillipsburg is scheduled to be closed two days next week for full-depth concrete rehabilitation work, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.

The ramp closure is expected to begin 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 8, and remain in effect until 6 a.m. Thursday, April 10. Motorists are urged to use alternate routes when the ramp is closed.

The travel restriction is subject to change due to weather, traffic conditions and emergencies. Motorists are urged to reduce their speeds and use caution when travelling through active work zones.

Next week's ramp work is the first in a series of driving-surface rehabilitation measures that are planned to be carried out over the coming weeks at the exit - the first in New Jersey after the Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22) Toll Bridge. The work is part of a much broader construction project currently taking place at the toll bridge and related approach facilities along Route 22. The other planned construction activities at the exit are not expected to require additional full-ramp closures.
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update April 1, 2014:

The on-ramp to Route 22 eastbound from Route 611/Larry Holmes Drive in Easton (last highway entrance ramp in Easton before the toll bridge) has now been shutdown.  The ramp closure will remain in place without interrupted for an extended period due to safety considerations.
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update March 20,2014:

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission released a pair of maps of the initial single-lane traffic patterns that will be put into effect next week along both directions of Route 22 in the vicinity of the Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge.

Work crews are expected to begin the process of setting up the project's 2014 work zone on the toll bridge and adjoining portions of Route 22 around 9:30 a.m. Monday, March 24. The work zone will be established incrementally over a three-day period, eventually moving all traffic to single lanes in each direction on the downstream (southern) side of the bridge and adjoining portions of Route 22 in Easton.

The single lanes will be 10-foot wide on the toll bridge. Additionally, there will be short, narrow lane crossovers on Route 22 westbound, beginning after the Thursday morning rush. The first will shift westbound traffic into the current left eastbound lane shortly after the toll plaza in Phillipsburg. The second will direct the traffic back to the two-lane westbound freeway after Fourth Street in Easton.

These geometric conditions are likely to have a slow-down effect on westbound traffic, particularly when trucks decelerate to travel through the crossover locations. For this reason, westbound motorists should consider allowing additional time to reach their destinations, particularly during weekday evening peak commuting periods - 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

While eastbound motorists will be spared of lane crossovers this year, they still will be impacted once uninterrupted, around-the-clock single-lane travel restrictions go back into effect. Eastbound motorists should be particularly wary during the morning peak driving period - 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. -- Tuesday, March 25, as job commuters face new single-lane travel patterns for the first time this year.

The accompanying maps (They are posted on the webpage the Commission has created for the project - www.drjtbc.org/tollbridgerehab) depicts what the prevailing traffic pattern for the project's 2014 construction stage will look like once it is put fully into place. The target date for full installation of the traffic patterns in the maps is Thursday, March 27.

The travel lane restrictions identified in the maps will be as follows:

- Route 22 East - Taper to a single lane will begin after the 13th Street interchange and slightly before Cemetery Curve in Easton. Eastbound traffic will be limited only to the right lane through downtown Easton, across the toll bridge and into Phillipsburg, where traffic will return to two lanes.

- Route 22 West - Single lane - already in place - begins before the toll plaza on the bridge's Phillipsburg side. After fanning out at the toll plaza, westbound motorists will encounter a taper into a single lane shortly after passing through the toll plaza. This lane will then cross over to the current left eastbound lane, remaining in that lane across the toll bridge and along Route 22 through downtown Easton to a crossover back to the westbound lanes around Fourth Street.

- Route 22 west exit ramp to Route 611 - This ramp is immediately after Route 22 crosses the toll bridge into Easton and is scheduled to close shortly after 9:30 a.m. Thursday, March 27.

- Route 611/Riverside Drive beneath Route 22 - This crescent-shaped roadway crosses beneath Route 22 immediately west of the toll bridge and will be shut down after 9:30 a.m. March 31.

While this initial prevailing travel configuration will be modified as work progresses during the year, both directions of Route 22 will be limited to continuous single-lanes of travel until mid-December, when the bridge rehabilitation project's 2014 work stage is scheduled to end.

Further project work is expected to be conducted into the spring of 2015, but these remaining construction activities should require only periodic short-term off-peak travel restrictions.

More information on the Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22) Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project is available at www.drjtbc.org/tollbridgerehab. To enhance communication with the public, the Commission also has established a toll-free question/comment line - 1-855-FIX-SPAN, a Twitter handle - @22tollbridge, and a project-specific email address - 22tollbridge@drjtbc.org.

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update March 5, 2014:

Effective immediately, the Route 22 westbound approach to the toll plaza for the Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge will be restricted to a single travel lane on a 24/7 basis.

Motorists using Route 22 westbound should expect to encounter backups and delays during the evening peak driving period - 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. - today and for every day going forward.

The long-term single-lane westbound travel restriction before the toll plaza originally was expected to be put into place at the end of next week, one of the key set-up elements for the 2014 stage of the rehabilitation project that got underway at the toll bridge last year.

But for safety reasons, it has been deemed more prudent to keep an uninterrupted single-lane travel restriction in place along Route 22 immediately before the toll plaza. This will ensure safe movement of traffic through the toll plaza area while one of its toll lanes is taken out of service for repairs as part of the project. Engineers have determined that a portion of the roadway in the toll plaza area sustained "accelerated deterioration" due to this winter's extreme polar-vortex-induced cold snaps and periodic short-term thawing periods requiring an earlier start to the roadway repair work.

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update March 5, 2014:

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced that a nine?month-long prohibition on trucks classified as oversized vehicles and/or permit loads will go into effect Thursday, March 6, 2014, at the Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22) Toll Bridge.  

Additionally, the Commission is urging all truckers to avoid driving through the project area altogether during peak commuting times because of anticipated travel delays, traffic congestion, and the project area’s tight roadway geometry.

The bridge has been open to all truck sizes and payloads since the 2013 construction stage of the nearly two-year rehabilitation project ended with the lifting of single-lane traffic restrictions in mid-December.

But this traffic-impact hiatus is in the process of  changing. Construction activities for the project’s 2014 work stages were initiated last night, setting off a series of temporary lane-closure restrictions that will be limited primarily to overnight hours along the toll bridge and adjoining portions of Route 22 for two weeks.

Sometime after March 16, 2014, these initial short?duration lane closures are expected to go into effect on an uninterrupted 24/7 basis, reducing Route 22 to single-lane travel in each direction through the project area well into December.

These single lanes will have 10-foot widths on the toll bridge. Additionally, there will be short, narrow lane crossovers on Route 22 well in advance and after the toll bridge. These geometric conditions will make truck steering difficult and should have a slow-down effect on traffic.

As result of these short-term project setup staging and long-term uninterrupted closures, truck passage in the project area will be strictly restricted to what is legally allowed without special state-issued permits: 8-foot 6-inch vehicular width, 13-foot 6?inch vehicular height, 60-foot lengths,and  maximum 80,000?pound loads.

The limitations are being transmitted to truck permit issuance offices in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Also, the Commission is sending an alert to trucking organizations and trucking media outlets.

The Commission is warning truckers and shippers to take heed of the traffic situation that is about to develop in the vicinity of the Route 22 toll bridge once project set-up activities get underway . Project engineers warn there will be delays and backups along Route 22 during peak commuting periods and increased traffic congestion on local streets in the Easton and Phillipsburg.

Truckers are being urged to plan ahead by rescheduling travel to off?peak periods or using I-78 as a time-saving travel alternative.

The nearby three-lane 19th-century Northampton Street Bridge (“the free bridge”) between Easton and Phillipsburg is not recommended as a viable travel option because it already is heavily congested at peak travel times. Also, the bridge’s 3-ton posted weight restriction does not allow for passage of commercial trucks and buses.

A project-specific webpage with more information may be accessed directly at: www.drjtbc.org/tollbridgerehab.

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update December 6, 2013:

Both lanes of Route 22 East through downtown Easton and across the Easton--? Phillipsburg Toll Bridge were reopened this morning, ending the single--?lane eastbound travel restrictions that have slowed morning commuting periods since July, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.

The agency also announced that the Second Street/Bushkill Street on ramp to Route 22 East reopened today after undergoing repairs and resurfacing over the past three weeks.

Meanwhile, the Commission announced that weather--?related issues have forced the agency to recalibrate expectations for when it might be able to reopen a second travel lane along Route 22 west next week. The Commission said Tuesday has now been ruled out as a reopening date and that unrestricted westbound travel on Route 22 may not be fully restored until either Wednesday or Thursday.

Work that still needs to be performed in the westbound direction includes: glare--?scree installation on the concrete barrier separating Route 22’s eastbound and westbound lanes in Easton, hydro-- milling of the road surface, and the application of new roadway striping.

Route 22 has been limited to single travel lanes in each direction from Cemetery Hill in Easton to Memorial Drive in Phillipsburg since July. The restricted travel zone was needed to allow for execution of the first stage of a multi--?year rehabilitation project on the Easton--?Phillipsburg Toll Bridge and adjoining Commission--?owned portions of Route 22 in Easton and Phillipsburg.

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The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced that lane closures for the Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22) Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project will be suspended June 26 through the end of the Independence Day weekend as an accommodation for work that PennDOT is conducting along Route 22 east of the Commission’s jurisdiction. Westbound lanes will be cleared of restrictions by approximately 3:30 p.m. while eastbound lanes will be restriction free by 5:30 p.m. today. Lane closures will be reinstituted on Monday morning, July 8, in the Commission’s project area as follows:

• Eastbound Route 22 will be reduced to a single?lane beginning at milepost 336.4 (after the 13th Street exit and before Cemetery Curve) at approximately 5 a.m. Monday, July 8.
• Westbound Route 22 will be reduced to a single?lane beginning 5 a.m. Monday, July 8.

The Commission is warning motorists to expect potential traffic backups and travel delays when single-lane patterns are in effect on Route 22 in the vicinity of the toll bridge at the Delaware River. Route 22 motorists commuting from homes in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley to jobs in North Jersey or New York City are advised to access I?78 in Pennsylvania and use that roadway as a travel alternative to Route 22 instead.
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The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced that June 17 is the lane closure target date for a multi-faceted rehabilitation project at the 75-year-old Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge and its associated approach facilities along Route 22 in Easton, PA. and Phillipsburg, N.J.

The target-date designation means that motorists may encounter project-related travel delays on or shortly after June 17.  It also means that long-term project-related lane closures will not occur any earlier than June 17.

The project is expected to be completed in spring 2015 and will involve 15 months of single-lane travel restrictions along each direction of Route 22 in the vicinity of the toll bridge:  from mid-June to mid-December 2013 and from March to December in 2014.  (The Commission expects two lanes of travel will be restored in each direction of the toll bridge for three months during the winter of 2013-14.) Exit and entry ramp closures also will be necessary along the Commission's portion of Route 22 in Easton, Pa.  at various project intervals over the next two years.  Detours will be employed when individual ramp closures are put into effect.

The Commission is urging commuters and area residents to brace themselves for travel delays and traffic backups once construction gets underway because of the project's long duration, the breadth of work elements, the extended length of the project zone, and the use of round-the-clock lane closures on Route 22.

"We intend to carry out this project with traffic moving across the toll bridge and through the extended Route 22 construction zone," said Joseph J. Resta, the Commission's executive director.   "Unfortunately, the traffic will be confined to single lanes in each direction of Route 22 instead of the current two lanes of travel in each direction."

The project area also will include more than the toll bridge that carries Route 22 traffic over the Delaware River.  Work also will take place on the box beam approach bridge that crosses over Route 611 in Easton, the Bank Street and Third Street overpasses in Easton, the approach roadway (full-depth replacement) in Phillipsburg and a variety of ramps and other facilities.  Because of this, the project zone and single-lane traffic pattern area will extend along Route 22 from a point roughly 800 feet east of the Commission's toll plaza in Phillipsburg to the start of the S-curves west of Fourth Street in Easton.

The numbers tell the story of why motorists should anticipate delays and backups once project work begins:

*       During peak commuting times, up to 2,200 vehicles cross the toll bridge using two lanes in the peak direction - from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. in the eastbound direction and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the westbound direction.

*       Engineers estimate that a maximum of only 1,400 vehicles per hour will be able to cross the toll bridge in the peak direction once single-lane configurations are employed.  This means that 800 vehicles will need to wait in traffic queues or go elsewhere to cross between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Because of these statistics, the Commission is recommending that motorists use I-78 as much as possible as a travel alternative between the states once project work begins.

The nearby three-lane 19th-century Northampton Street Bridge ("the free bridge") between Easton and Phillipsburg is not recommended as a viable travel option because it already is heavily congested at peak travel times.  Also, the bridge's 3-ton posted weight restriction does not allow for passage of commercial trucks and buses.

The primary elements of the rehabilitation project are anticipated to include repairing the bridge deck; blast cleaning and painting the truss; installing a bridge drainage system; performing various steel, concrete and masonry repair work; reconstructing and repaving the bridge's approach roadways; and upgrading the toll plaza.