Officials Re-inspect Ben Franklin Bridge After Emergency Repairs Last Month

David Madden
April 19, 2018 - 12:45 pm
Benjamin Franklin Bridge repairs

Delaware River Port Authority

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CAMDEN, N. J. (KYW Newsradio) -- Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) officials re-inspected work done on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge after emergency repairs were made last month on a critical support brace. 

Crews discovered a bigger problem during a routine inspection, which is done every two years. A worker noticed one of four critical support braces was more weathered than anticipated. The wind braces allow the span -- the distance between two support structures -- to move a little bit during inclement weather.

"A train went across," explained DRPA CEO John Hanson, "and he realized that, with the movement of this wind brace, that there was greater deterioration than we had anticipated and we needed to take action right away to make sure that other components of the bridge were not stressed or damaged."

Hanson ordered an emergency $150,000 repair job on that brace. 

The other three braces on the span are fine but will be inspected again.

The repairs never posed a threat, but PATCO slowed trains as a precaution, and some traffic was diverted to other spans on the bridge.

"There was never danger of any type of collapse of the bridge," Hanson noted. "Simply if it had been allowed to go unpremeditated, it would have put additional stress on other components of the bridge.