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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Delaware Memorial Bridge Sees Record Traffic

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The Delaware Memorial Bridge at sunset

The fabled twin spans of the Delaware Memorial Bridge are busier than ever.

According to the Delaware River & Bay Authority (DRBA), which owns and operates the bridge, the New Jersey-Delaware connector is setting traffic records in 2020. 

In January and February 2020, the bridge saw 1,315,342 and 1,245,122 vehicles respectively through the southbound toll plaza – a 6.6% increase compared to the same period last year.  This bests the previous January record of 1,307,045, which was established in 2006, while February’s prior record of 1,231,045 was set in 2004. 

The DRBA says the Delaware Memorial Bridge has now posted nine consecutive months of record traffic volume dating back to June 2019.  Record-breaking bridge traffic stats have also been logged in ten of the past twelve months. 

 

A winter with no snow spurred travel to the beach

DRBA executive director Thomas J. Cook chalks up the strong continued surge in traffic to good weather and low gas prices.

“Not only has this winter been one of the warmest on record, but our region also didn’t encounter any measurable snow or ice storms that alter travel plans and negatively impact our traffic,” Cook said.  “Combining the favorable weather conditions with a strong economy and low, reasonable gas prices, the Bridge continues to register positive year-over-year growth in all vehicle classes.” 

Altogether, last year was the first time the bridge registered more than 18 million vehicles in a calendar year.  The bridge also set other records, including the highest single month in history, highest traffic volume for a weekend period (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) set on August 16-18, and the first time October and November ever topped 1.5 million vehicles.

 

If you are worried about safety with all these cars on the spans, Cook noted that the Delaware Memorial Bridge is in good shape to handle the heavy traffic volume thanks to capital improvements, important investments and ongoing maintenance.

“Last year, we conducted a comprehensive load rating analysis on the Twin Spans,” Cook said.  “These spans continue to be able to handle the weight present even if all eight lanes were full of vehicles from one side of the bridge to the other.”

 

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