By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Commodore Barry Bridge is in line for a major makeover beginning next year if the Delaware River Port Authority approves a contract this week that would begin the five-year project.

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Delaware River Port Authority CEO John Hanson says the board is set to meet Wednesday and approve the first of three contracts for stripping and repainting the Commodore Barry Bridge.

The entire price tag for all three phases is expected to come in at about $100 million and the job isn’t projected to be completed until 2019.

Hanson says it’s the first time the DRPA has taken on such a complex re-coating of the entire bridge since it was opened in 1974.

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“People think that it’s about the aesthetics and the bridge will look better but the main reason for doing this is to protect the steel and iron in the bridge.”

Sandblasting the coats of paint that have been applied to the bridge over the years and catching and disposing of the lead paint is the most complicated part of the job, he says.

Hanson says it will be accomplished safely and without endangering the environment.

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