US-1 at Delaware River has new toll plaza - DRJTBC

May 25, 2008

US-1 at the Delaware River near downtown Trenton NJ has a new toll plaza. The $6m project is part of a larger $100m+ rehabbing of the Trenton-Morrisville Bridge which is the major link between the New Jersey capital and Philadelphia. And pre-NJ Turnpike US1 was the main route Boston-NYC-Philadelphia-Baltimore Wash DC.

The new toll plaza is on the Pennsylvania bank of the river just a few strides from the old 1952 toll plaza. The canopy is a substantial but light and airy structure since it has clerestory windows. The new toll plaza has five toll lanes, two transponder-only (E-ZPass) and three mixed mode, cash or transponder lanes.

The booths have stairwells to a service tunnel underneath so collectors don't have to cross traffic.

Tolling is southbound, NJ to PA.

The new toll plaza has improved sight lines and a smoother approach.

The toll lanes are a little wider at 3.05m (120 inches) than the old - in line with the widening of motor vehicle in the last half century.

Back in 1952 when the bridge opened the toll plaza had 8 toll lanes. In 1992 the Commission went to one directional tolling and the plaza was converted to six toll lanes, which even with electronic tolling all worked mixed mode, cash or transponder payment.

The toll system work for the new plaza was done by Transcore with Mark IV readers. Vehicle classification is by treadles from IRD.

The system is gated so there's no camera enforcement needed. An official tells us however that the Commission does plan to open up the transponder-only lanes at some point over the next few years - at which point camera enforcement will substitute for gates.

ORTing upriver

The Commission has projects under way to go to highway speed open road tolling (ORT) upriver at their two interstate bridges on I-78 and I-80. The I-78 toll plaza will have open road tolling in 2009 and the I-80 in 2011 or 2012.

New plaza part of rebuild of US1 bridge

The new toll plaza is part of a larger project that is upgrading the bridge and approaches in a 2km (6500ft) stretch of US1 which is a busy expressway standard highway from the Pennsylvania Turnpike north into Trenton. A short distance north of central Trenton US1 degenerates into a signalized arterial and continues as such all the way to northern New Jersey. I-95 was originally planned to be completed not far west of US1, but local protests and lack of grant money caused that to be abandoned in the 1980s.

In its absence US1 is heavily trafficked with a combination of local and through traffic. The bridge carries an average 51k veh/day. It is the main north south alternative to the New Jersey Turnpike as well as serving the almost continuous development alongside it.

The US1 bridge was built as a 4-lane bridge in 1952. The deck was widened to 18.9m (62ft) lanes in 1964 running six 10'4" (3.15m) lanes. In 1983 a median barrier was installed and the bridge reduced to five lanes, 3 southbound and 2 northbound. There are eleven spans of steel plate girder and poured concrete deck for a total bridge length of 403m (1324ft).

The present work involves removing the deck, cleaning and repainting the girders and where necessary renewing them. Cross members are being extended out from the pier caps and abutments about 1.8m (6ft) on each side to support a newly poured deck totaling 22.6m (74ft) width.

The widened deck allows an extra traffic lane so that there will be three north bound as well as three lanes southbound. US1 has two travel lanes each direction so the third lanes work on the bridge act as auxiliary lanes serving interchanges on either side of the bridge.

At the interchanges some new improved ramps are being built.

On a recent crossing of the bridge we drove in narrowed construction lanes, separated from construction equipment only by a temporary concrete barrier. Two lanes each direction are being maintained throughout the work which is scheduled to take 24 months.

The principle being followed is that the deck is divided into three, one for north bound, the second for southbound traffic, the third for construction. As construction is done in one traffic is switched into that, and another strip freed up for construction, etc.

Pictures here are from DRJTBC.

Prime design work contractor: Louis Berger

Prime contractor: Conti

Toll systems integrator: TransCore

Project manager at DRJTBC: Chris T Harney



TOLLROADSnews 2008-05-25

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