Today, Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) officials and representatives from its contractor, UHPC Solutions North America LLC of Orange, New Jersey, joined together to celebrate the completion of the three phase, $71 million bridge deck (driving surface) rehabilitation project on the New Jersey bound span of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. The UHPC project at the Delaware Memorial is the largest application of this cutting-edge technology in North America. As a result, all eight traffic lanes of the Delaware Memorial Bridge will be open to traffic for the busy Thanksgiving Day holiday travel period.
“I’m very pleased that we are able to complete this major initiative ahead of our project schedule and on budget,” remarked Thomas J. Cook, DRBA Executive Director. “With every construction project, our goal is to complete the necessary work safely while making sure traffic impacts to our customers are kept to a minimum. We want to thank our customers for their patience and understanding during all three phases of this reconstruction work on the bridge deck.”
Cook also noted that all three phases were completed ahead of the project schedule. “I want to commend our entire team, the contractor, UHPC Solutions, as well as our own engineering department and consulting engineers, for their collective efforts. They set an ambitious schedule and made it work.”
Gilbert Brindley, Director for UHPC Solutions North America, stated, “UHPC Solutions feels immense pride and a deep sense of accomplishment upon the completion of this project. It has been a remarkable journey of expertise, determination, and unwavering commitment. We are honored to have been a part of this historic undertaking and grateful for the trust and support of the DRBA and the entire team. Together, we’ve not only rebuilt a bridge but also strengthened the connections it represents. We look forward to the continued success and prosperity it will bring to Delaware and New Jersey.”
Following demobilization efforts – including the removal of the Jersey barriers and the closure of the Bypass Lane on the Delaware bound span, all eight lanes will be open to traffic on Tuesday, November 21, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.
During Phase 1, the right two lanes of the New Jersey bound span, west of suspended bridge midpoint (“Delaware side”) were reconstructed in the fall of 2022. Phase 2 took place during the spring of 2023 and involved the redecking the full length of the left two lanes. The third and final project phase rebuilt the right two lanes east of the suspended bridge midpoint (“New Jersey side”).
Construction activity associated with this project was suspended during the winter months and the peak summer travel season. Using hydro demolition, two inches of the old deck were removed, the transverse deck relief joints and expansion joints replaced, and an Ultra High-Performance Concrete (UHPC) deck overlay added.
The advanced technology UHPC overlay on the Delaware Memorial Bridge costs significantly less than what a traditional, full deck replacement would have cost, while also minimizing lane closure durations and inconvenience for our customers; yet it is expected to extend the service life of the bridge deck by several decades.