By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s going to be a rough summer for drivers and commuters crossing the Ben Franklin Bridge.
Starting next week, the pain of the ongoing PATCO track rehab project will spread to drivers, as one traffic lane will close around the clock for 60-days. Delaware River Port Authority CEO John Hanson says the far-right lane heading into New Jersey will close.
“During rush hour, instead of four open lanes there will be three,” he says. “We’re going to be closing one lane during rush hour. And then in the offpeak hours, non-rush hours, we’ll be closing two lanes.”
Hanson says crews will replace the PATCO tracks on the south side of the bridge, and then there will be another two-month lane closure as tracks are replaced on the north side, adding up to more than 16 weeks of delays for riders and drivers alike.
“We’ll be working 24 hours a day, seven days a week to get this work done as quickly as possible,” Hanson says, “so that we can restore both the bridge and the PATCO line to service.”
He says the PATCO tracks are at the end of their useful lives, and there’s no way to do the work without inconvenience.