Rain delays Ben Franklin Bridge repaving, makes for slow Monday commute

The Delaware River Port Authority said they got their first chance to pave at 2 a.m.

Mike DeNardo
September 24, 2018 - 12:22 pm
Benjamin Franklin Bridge

Olivier Le Queinec/Dreamstime.com

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Monday morning commute into Philadelphia over the Ben Franklin Bridge was a tough one. The Delaware River Port Authority says: Blame the weather.

During the westbound morning jam, only two lanes were open instead of the usual four. Last weekend was the second of an eight-weekend resurfacing project on the bridge. Normally the work would wrap up Sunday afternoon. However, DRPA Chief Engineer Mike Venuto said the surface was milled and blasted down to the steel deck, and it became impossible to pave in the heavy rain.

"Obviously the rains got worse and steady all day," Venuto said. "So we had to wait until we had an opening."

That opening came at 2 a.m. on Monday, and Venuto says engineers made the decision then to bring in blowers and begin the paving. With more rain forecast, Venuto says they didn't want to keep the two lanes closed for several days.