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The Westbound PATCO Track On Ben Franklin Bridge Open Again

By Tim Jimenez

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) --- The westbound PATCO track on the Ben Franklin Bridge is open again after being closed for two months as crews worked to improve the track system on the bridge. The project is part of a two-year, $103 million project.

The past few months of having only a single track to get over the bridge caused some headaches for commuters.

"Oh my gosh, when you're coming home. It's like you're like a sardine. Literally sardined inside the train," Sarah from Mt. Laurel said. She takes train to work at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania every day.

Tim from Mt. Laurel had issues with the train schedules during the project. "Trains not coming as frequently as they should," he said. "I've been taking this now 15 or 16 years into Philadelphia. Used to be almost like clockwork. Now it's a little bit further apart."

"I'm very glad that things are back to normal," said John from Cherry Hill, "but they had to do upkeep on the tracks and that's the most important thing for all of us."

The single track work will continue on weekends, returning to weekdays in December.

PATCO officials say it will impact Thursdays to early on Mondays, meaning three of the 10 weekday rush hours will be affected. Still, Sarah said she'll stick to the rails.

"Challenging but it's still easier than driving into the city," she said. "It's expensive having to drive into the city!"

As for drivers who use the Ben Franklin Bridge, all four westbound lanes opened this morning. During the afternoon, the westbound side will go back to three lanes of traffic. Four eastbound lanes will be open for afternoon traffic.

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