View Article
DRBA Commission Adopts 2020 Capital Improvement Program
By JSalmon on 01/09/2020:  

DRBA Commission Adopts 2020 Capital Improvement Program
Budgets Approximately $405 Million for Infrastructure Projects through 2024

NEW CASTLE, Del. – The Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) Commissioners adopted the agency’s 2020 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) along with an Authority-wide Five Year Strategic Plan for the agency’s airports and crossing facilities in late December. The 2020 CIP of $141 million is comprised of $128.5 million in Authority resources and $12.5 million in federal funds. The board action took place at the bi-state agency’s monthly meeting held in James Julian Boardroom at the DRBA Administrative Complex in New Castle, Delaware.

According to DRBA Chairman Samuel E. Lathem, these capital investments are essential to properly maintain and improve the agency’s crossing facilities. “Millions of people rely on our network of transportation facilities to move products, visit family or commute to work on a daily basis,” Lathem said. “As public stewards of some important regional transportation assets, the Authority will continue to make necessary and prudent investments at our bridge, ferry and airport facilities that will benefit our customers.”

“The Delaware Memorial Bridge is a vital link in the I-95 north-south corridor and the Cape May – Lewes Ferry is integral to the local tourism economy of the Cape May and Sussex Counties,” added Vice Chairman James N. Hogan. “A reliable infrastructure network is vital for a strong, robust economy. This CIP is an investment in our region’s future.”

The DRBA Five Year Strategic Plan, which contains more than one hundred infrastructure projects at the Delaware Memorial Bridge (DMB), Cape May – Lewes Ferry (CMLF), and the agency’s five regional aviation facilities, is expected to cost approximately $404 million and includes the following major projects:

Pin & Link Replacement ‐ DMB: The pin and link assemblies that connect the suspended span trusses to the towers are showing signs of severe deterioration. This project involves the replacement of the pin and links with new state of the art sliding bearings on brackets, which was started in 2019. The overall cost of this project is more than $20 million with $7.5 million allocated in 2020.

Ship Collision Protection ‐ DMB: The current pier fendering system at the Delaware Memorial Bridge is original to each span. This project includes a risk assessment, investigation of modern ship collision protection systems, environmental impacts, design details and construction of the modern, state-of-the-art system. Design work is underway and construction is expected to begin in 2021. The DRBA has budgeted more than $45 million for the project, which will be partially funded by a U.S. Department of Transportation grant of $22.3 million.

Deck UHPC Overlay Program – DMB: In accordance with the finding of the recently completed bridge deck study, the deck of the New Jersey-bound span (1st Structure) is exhibiting accelerated deterioration and is in need of substantial repair. Significant research has identified partial depth reconstruction utilizing Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) as the most effective solution. A pilot project is programmed in 2020 as proof of concept. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $5 million in 2020 and $44.5 million in the out years.

Bridge Steelwork Repairs ‐ DMB: Due to age, environmental factors, and traffic volumes, steelwork repairs are necessary on both Spans of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. These repairs are necessary to preserve the bridge's steelwork while maintaining safety and operational service levels. Work includes replacement of worn bearing assemblies, vertical suspension cables, access platforms, maintenance of steel connections, installing new safety features, and other items. The Authority has budgeted $7 million for 2020 and allocated an additional $38 million over the following four years to address steelwork repairs on the bridges.

Annual Bridge Painting Program – DMB: As outlined in the recent paint evaluation report, the coatings on certain segments the 1st and 2nd Structures are no longer performing as required. To ensure the structural steel is adequately protected, the coatings on these portions of the bridge are scheduled for complete removal and replacement of a full four‐part overcoat similar to effort previously completed on the towers. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $13.54 million in 2020 and $42.5 million in the out years.

Main Vessel Repowering ‐ CMLF: Two of the ferry vessels have older engines which are not efficient and difficult to maintain. This project provides for the replacement of the engines and reduction gears for one vessel. Engines and reduction gears will be installed in 2020‐2021. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $5.4 million in 2020 and $6.1 million in the out years. The project is partially funded in the amount of approximately $3 million by the Federal Transit Administrations – Passenger Ferry Grant Program.

Sandman Blvd. Rehabilitation – CMLF: Roadway improvements are necessary for maintaining expected levels of service for the approach roads to the Cape May Terminal. This project proposes roadway configurations at the entrances to the terminal facility. The scope also includes pedestrian improvements and the replacement of highway signage. For 2020, the DRBA has budgeted $1 for this project and $3.8 million in 2021. The project is partially funded in the amount of approximately $2.40 million by the NJDOT.

Transfer Bridge Replacements ‐ CMLF: The transfer loading bridges in Cape May and Lewes are in need of updates pertaining to the age of the structures, deteriorated concrete, and structurally deficient supports. In July 2019, the DRBA Commission awarded Contract CMLF-19-07 to Corman Construction of Junction, MD to replace the five transfer bridges in Cape May and Lewes. This project is expected to be completed in 2020 at a cost of $7.8 million.

Rehabilitate 1‐19 ‐ ILG: Runway 1‐19 pavement area is in need of rehabilitation based on FAA pavement life cycles and the State of Delaware’s pavement management study. This project programs for rehabilitation of the runway pavement, and any modifications to signage, markings, lighting or infrastructure which may be necessary. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $50,000 in 2020 and $850,000 in the out years. The project is partially funded in the amount of approximately $8.1 million by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Airport Terminal Renovations – ILG: The terminal facility is dated, has not had an aesthetic renovation since its original construction, and is not properly arranged for current operations. This project budgets resources to design and implement a renovation; including updates to the building exterior and interior modifications suitable to the current and future needs. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $3.75 million in 2020.

South Apron Expansion and Rehabilitation of North Apron – MIV: The project programs the design and construction of a new cargo apron in the vicinity of the intersection of Taxiways “B” and “E”. The project will expand the apron pavement to provide for more diverse aircraft operations at a cost of nearly $800,000. In July 2019, the Commission awarded Contract 18-B to South State, Inc. of Bridgeton, NJ to rehabilitate the North Apron at Millville Airport (MIV). The North Apron will also be reconfigured and the rehabilitated near the corporate aviation complex. The North Apron project is expected to cost nearly $3 million with the FAA partially funding the project in the estimated amount of $2.48 million.

Second Multi-Tenant Building – WWD: Cape May Airport has experience increased development and business interest and there is little available space to accommodate demand. This project provides for the construction of a second multi‐tenant light industrial building to accommodate new tenancy requests. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $2 million in 2020.

Rehabilitate 10‐28 & Remove Taxiway – WWD: Results from the most recent pavement management study indicate the pavement on Runway 10‐28 is deteriorating and is in need of rehabilitation. Work will include pavement resurfacing, lighting, signage, and associated drainage improvements as well as the removal of an unnecessary connector taxiway. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $184,000 in 2019 and $449,000 in the out years. The project is partially funded in the amount of approximately $5.7 million by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The entire planning document can be viewed on the Authority’s website,

About the Delaware River and Bay Authority
The DRBA, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962, owns and operates the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Cape May- Lewes Ferry, and the Forts Ferry Crossing. The DRBA also manages corporate and aviation properties through its economic development powers - two airports in New Jersey (Millville Airport and Cape May Airport) and three in Delaware (New Castle Airport, Civil Air Terminal and Delaware Airpark). All DRBA operating revenues are generated through the bridge, ferry and airport facilities. For more information, visit

PDF of Press Release

Suspender Rope Replacement