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Highway Officials Clearing Access to Alternative Del. River Bridges as Ben Franklin Project Begins

By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Motorists evaluating alternate routes across the Delaware River once the Patco track replacement project starts next week on the Ben Franklin Bridge (see related story) might be looking at the Walt Whitman Bridge.

Now, some good news: one obstacle on the Pennsylvania side of the Walt Whitman is about to disappear.

Penndot has been working the past few months on the ramp off the Walt Whitman leading to northbound Interstate 95.  Spokesman Gene Blaum says crews have been replacing deteriorated expansion joints in the traffic lanes from the bridge and at the Front Street ramp for I-95.  That, he says, has been squeezing traffic to one lane.

Blaum notes, however, that sometimes timing is everything.

"Those barricades will be coming down Thursday night and early Friday morning, so that ramp by Friday will be fully reopened to two travel lanes," he tells KYW Newsradio.

And that, he points out, gives traffic better access coming off the bridge.  But Blaum advises South Jersey commuters that there is still construction on I-95 and drivers will still face some lane restrictions as they approach that.

Blaum says drivers who choose the Betsy Ross Bridge will find smooth sailing into Pennsylvania because no road work is scheduled there.


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