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DRPA Proposes Bridge Projects for 2018

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

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The Delaware River Port Authority has planned the continuation—or commencement—of a number of bridge projects, which will cover painting, repairs and resurfacing.

The 2018 capital projects, which arrive on the heels of a $166.7 million budget recently approved by DRPA, will help maintain and enhance these bridges, noted DRPA Chief Engineer Michael Venuto.

Bridge Contracts

The projects slated for 2018 include:

  • Repairs on the Commodore Barry Bridge, which include the replacement of elevators and overall de-leading;
  • Steel repairs and maintenance painting on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge;
  • The final steps of painting and repairs on the Betsy Ross Bridge; and
  • The Walt Whitman Bridge’s final phase of painting.
ScottTroyan, CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For the Commodore Barry Bridge, 2018 will see both repainting and de-leading, the second phase of structural rehabilitation work, bridge deck repairs and deck condition assessment, which will indicate if rehabilitation of the bridge deck is feasible.

For the Commodore Barry Bridge, 2018 will see both repainting and de-leading, the second phase of structural rehabilitation work, bridge deck repairs and deck condition assessment, which will indicate if rehabilitation of the bridge deck is feasible.

The Benjamin Franklin Bridge will also undergo masonry rehabilitation, along with bridge deck resurfacing. There will also be steps taken to preserve the pedestrian walkway, along with the replacement of the movable barrier.

The Betsy Ross Bridge will have the New Jersey approach roadway resurfaced, along with improvements made to the I-95 Interchange.

As for the Walt Whitman, the de-leading and repainting process will enter its third phase, which will cover the suspended span, towers and anchorages. The Pennsylvania side of I-176 will also undergo corridor rehabilitation, and NJ approach bridge will also be painted.

Work on these projects will begin in the first half of 2018.

Project Financing

According to the Courier Post, these projects are being funded via $44 million in state and federal grants secured by DRPA. Much of the remaining cost will be covered by existing revenue. As a result, this negated the need for a capital bond issue for the second year running.

For all phases of bridge work, the total cost is spread out over several years. For the Walt Whitman Bridge, the cost sits at $144 million; for the Ben Franklin, $150 million.

DRPA Lawsuit

A panel of federal judges from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in May that while DRPA was remiss in rejecting a bridge-painting bid from contractor Alpha Painting and Construction because of an alleged paperwork error, a district court judge was also incorrect to have mandated the awarding of the contract to Alpha.

Baltimore-based Alpha sued DRPA last year over a contract that the authority, which reports to the governments of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, awarded to Corcon Inc., of Lowellville, Ohio, and Bayside, New York. Alpha had submitted a bid that was $10,200 lower.

DRPA argued that it had rejected Alpha’s bid because the contractor was “not responsible,” having omitted from the bid documents, including OSHA Form 330, detailing any workplace incidents in recent years. Alpha argued that it had followed up on the bid, inquiring with DRPA as to whether any additional documentation was necessary after it was first submitted, and that DRPA had said none was.

The case remains in the court; last month, DRPA filed a motion to dismiss the complaint.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Contracts; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management

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