By David Madden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Notice something different these days on the Walt Whitman Bridge? Those cattle chutes are gone, a sign that the $140 million re-decking project is entering its final phase.

Delays, along with driver angst, reached a pinnacle last summer, when crews had to work smack dab in the middle lane. That left no options for bridge operators.

“If a whole bunch of people were headed to the Jersey shore, we couldn’t have 4 lanes eastbound and 2 lanes westbound. The bridge was stuck at three lanes and three lanes,” says Tim Ireland with the Delaware River Port Authority.

No more.

Those crews are now working on the far right lane headed into South Philadelphia and the flexibility is back.

Not only that, but at the current rate of progress this mega project could be finished as much as six months ahead of schedule.

After that, it’s on to work on the toll plaza and repainting the span.

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