The Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) plans to spend $132.7 million in 2024 on 120 projects to improve airports and ferries located throughout Delaware and New Jersey.
The DRBA’s five-year capital investment plan adopted last week includes major improvements to the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Cape May Lewes Ferry and the Wilmington Airport. The plan provides a road map on how much the DRBA plans to spend this year and on annual operating costs through 2025-2028, which it refers to as the “out” years.
Projects in 2024 will be funded through $116.7 million in DRBA resources and nearly $16 million in federal, state and local grant funds.
Projects in the plan include:
Delaware Memorial Bridge
- Improving protection against ship collisions by building eight 80-foot diameter dolphin structures, including two at the approach of each tower pier. It has an estimated DRBA cost of $25.2 million in 2024 and $18 million in the out years.
- A $4.5 million project to design and restore the War Memorial and add the names of all military personnel from Delaware and New Jersey who were killed in the Vietnam War and subsequent conflicts.
- Preserving the bridge’s steelwork, such as replacing worn bearing assemblies, access platforms, maintaining steel connections, installing safety features and replacing suspender rope. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $6.2 million in 2024 and $47 million in the out years.
- Repairing the coating system on the bridge to protect the structural steel on certain spans. The project will strip affected areas to bare metal and recoat with a three-layer protective overcoat system. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $8.33 million in 2024 and $25.5 million in the out years.
Cape May Lewes Ferry
- Design and construction to replace vessels in the ferry fleet. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $2 million in 2024 and $107.1 million in the out years. It is anticipated that the project will be partially funded with federal assistance, the DRBA said.
- Replacing deteriorating pavement and reconfiguring the roadway at the terminal entrance, improving approach roads and replacing signage. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $3.1 million in 2024 and $1.9 in the out years. The project is partially funded in the amount of slightly more than $2.4 million by the New Jersey DOT.
- Expanding and modifying the terminal, including hold room capacity and frontage improvements, and expanding opportunities for improved customer service. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $1.95 million in 2024 and $4.66 million in the out years.
- Demolishing an adjacent hotel and providing immediate temporary parking. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $2.85 million in 2024 and $502,000 in the out years.
Photo by Éamonn Ó Muirí