February 6, 2013 —
The weight limit for the bridge that spans the Upper Delaware River at Narrowsburg has been lowered in the wake of an inspection that was carried out in November 2012.
The limit for a single vehicle is now 15 tons, and the limit for a combination vehicle such as a tractor trailer is now 27 tons.
Emergency repairs are scheduled to begin in mid-March. From mid-March until the end of May, the bridge will be open to a single lane of traffic during the day, controlled by flaggers. At the end of each day, the bridge will be opened to two lanes of traffic, but the weight restriction will remain in place.
After these repairs are complete on one side of the bridge (approximately mid-May), traffic will be moved to the repaired side of the bridge and the weight restriction will be lifted. However, the bridge will remain a single-lane crossing, controlled by traffic signals, until at least 2015, when permanent repairs are scheduled to begin on the bridge.
According to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) spokesperson James May, officials don’t want to put a lot of money into temporary repairs when the permanent repairs will begin in just a couple of years. Maintaining a single lane will allow the bridge to be used safely until then.
Two years ago, PennDOT announced that preliminary engineering was planned for a 2014 replacement of the decks and sidewalks and painting of the Narrowsburg, NY to Darbytown, PA Bridge at a cost of just under $4 million.
Because of the new weight limit, the Narrowsburg Fire Department applied for a weight limit exemption for when it takes trucks over the bridge to aid firefighting efforts in Pennsylvania. Fire captain Arthur Hawker said that the fire company crosses the bridge perhaps 10 times in a year, and five of those times involve the use of the rescue truck which is less than 15 tons. He said the restrictions on the bridge “are not going to be a big deal.”