BRISTOL Twp., PA (CBS) – It’s been a week since a fracture found in a structural beam on the Delaware River Turnpike Bridge shut it down.
Officials are hoping to have a better idea how this happened real soon as repair efforts continue.
“We’ve been focused on putting in footers, or support structures, for eight towers that will be used to help jack the bridge back up to its original height,” explains Carl DeFebo with the Pennsylvania Commission
This is being done to relieve stress on the bridge connecting the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Turnpikes as engineers continue trying to figure out what caused the crack.
“Once that bridge is jacked up, then they’re going to re-repair that beam again,” says DeFebo. “It’s important to keep in mind this is not part of the permanent fix, this is just to stabilize the bridge.”
Each tower is 80 feet tall. DeFebo says construction on those will begin very soon:
“Most of the work being conducted to date has been focused on stabilization, and also analysis and assessment to try to understand the scope of the problem.”
He says better safe than sorry:
“We don’t want to open it (the bridge) prematurely. We want to make sure it’s safe before we allow traffic to be on it.”
DeFebo is hoping to have a better idea on when the bridge will be open again to drivers next weekend.
“It’s important to understand this is just the investigative part of this process right now,” he says.
Officials announced shortly after closure they would be taking a few weeks to analyze.