Delaware River & Bay Authority Adopts 2023 Capital Improvement Program

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In order to maintain infrastructure for the traveling public, The Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) Commissioners adopted the agency’s 2023 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) along with an Authority-wide Five-Year Strategic Plan for the agency’s airports and crossing facilities. The program budgets approximately $208 Million for Infrastructure Projects in 2023. Vincent Meconi, Chief Operations Officer for the DRBA calls the effort a “necessary investment” to benefit customers.

Additional Information from the Delaware River & Bay Authority

The DRBA Five Year Strategic Plan, which contains nearly one hundred major capital projects at the Delaware Memorial Bridge (DMB), Cape May – Lewes Ferry (CMLF), and the agency’s five regional airport facilities, serves as a planning tool for directing resources to address the increasing demands associated with that infrastructure.  This plan is expected to cost approximately $604.5 million in Authority and grant funds.  Authority funds consist entirely of tolls and other user fees; no tax dollars are used.  The CIP includes the following major projects:

Deck UHPC Overlay Program – DMB:  The deck of the 1st Structure, I‐295N, has reached the end of its serviceable life. As a result of extensive evaluation, a deck repair project has been recommended. The project includes removal of the top 2” of the existing deck slabs and replacement with an Ultra High-Performance Concrete (UHPC) overlay. The first phase was completed in 2022. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $52,000,000 in 2023 and $2,500,000 in the out years.

Ship Collision Protection ‐ DMB: The existing tower fender system on the twin spans provides insufficient protection for current vessel traffic. This project provides a protection system meeting current standards and consists of eight 80-foot diameter dolphin structures, two at the approach of each tower pier This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $26,026,000 in 2023 and $39,583,000 in the out years. The project is partially funded in the amount of approximately $14,730,000 by the US Department of Transportation.

Bridge Deck Repairs – DMB:  Both structures exhibit annual deck cracking and delamination as well as potholes due to age and heavy truck volumes.  The project includes large lane‐width concrete repairs to the bridge deck to maintain an appropriate level of service, primarily on the southbound span.  This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $650,000 in 2023 and $2,850,000 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. This project programs miscellaneous steelwork repairs found to be necessary following comprehensive annual inspections. These repairs are necessary to preserve the bridge’s steelwork while maintaining safety and operational service levels. Work typically includes replacement of worn bearing assemblies, access platforms, maintenance of steel connections, installing new safety features, and other items. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $3,000,000 in 2023 and $39,200,000 in the out years.

Annual Bridge Painting Program – DMB:  The coatings on certain segments of both structures are no longer performing as required.  Painting the bridge is not undertaken for aesthetic reasons, but to ensure the structural steel is adequately protected.  The coatings on these portions of the bridge are scheduled for complete removal to bare metal and replaced with a 3-layer protective overcoat system.  This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $8,438,000 in 2023 and $22,502,000 in the out years.

Cape May Approach Roads Rehabilitation – CMLF:  Pavements at the toll approach are deteriorating and improvements are necessary to maintain expected levels of service at the Cape May Terminal. The project proposes the design and construction for roadway reconfigurations at the terminal entrance, improvements to the approach roads, and the replacement of Cape May highway signage. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $2.4 million in 2023 and $2.4 million in the out years. The project is partially funded in the amount of approximately $2.4 million by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

CMLF Utility Corridor – Cape May and Lewes Terminals:    This project addresses the aging utility infrastructure at both ferry terminals.  It proposes the design and installation of new centralized utility corridors to allow for easier access and maintenance. The Cape May Terminal project, which is partially funded the amount of approximately $1.5 million by NJDOT, has an estimated DRBA cost of $5.8 million in 2023 and $5.8 million in the out years.  The Lewes Terminal portion has an estimated DRBA cost of $3.8 million in 2023 and $1.8 million in the out years

Annual Vessel Maintenance & Dry Docking – CMLF:   The project programs annual capital expenditures for the three (3) vessels, particularly in areas that preserve these assets and improve passenger safety and operational reliability. Planned projects include but are not limited to vessel shipyard dry‐dockings, purchase of life saving equipment, seating replacements, systems efficiency upgrades, generator overhauls, and miscellaneous improvements. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $11,656,000 in 2023 and $39,050,000 in the out years.

New Vessel Design – CMLF: This project includes the design, project management and construction support portion of the overall project to replace vessels in the ferry fleet. Design will include all stages of design for the new vessels from concept to final design. Project management/construction support will cover all emergent needs during contract bidding, construction, and post‐construction. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $1,040,000 in 2023 and $5,000,000 in the out years. The project is partially funded in the amount of approximately $460,000 by the US Maritime Administration.

New Vessel Construction – CMLF:  Upon completion of new vessel design (previous project), construction will begin.  A new vessel is estimated to cost in the $73 million range.  The plan supports the full replacement of the first of the three (3) existing vessels, and the beginning of construction on a second vessel. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $99,700,000 in the out years. The project is expected to be partially funded in the amount of approximately $10,000,000 by grants to be determined.

Multi-Tenant Building – Millville Airport:  Millville Airport has experienced increased development and business interest and there is little available space to accommodate demand. The project provides for the construction of a multi‐tenant light industrial building to accommodate new tenancy requests. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $1.1 million in 2023 and $750,000 in the out years.

New Multi-Purpose Building – Millville Airport:  The existing terminal building’s layout and condition are not conducive to future terminal functions and the facility is poorly located. This project programs for

the construction of a new Multi‐purpose building located in a more optimal location for future expansion. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $450,000 in 2023 and $5,500,000 in the out years.

Rehabilitate Taxiways “A”, “C”, and “G” – Millville Airport:  In accordance with the findings of the latest Pavement Management Study, Taxiways A, C, and G need repair.  The project programs the design and construction costs for these repairs to include pavement resurfacing, lighting, signage, and associated drainage improvements. This project, which is partially funded in the amount of $6.3 million by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has an estimated DRBA cost of $215,000 in 2023 and $516,000 in the out years.

Rehabilitate 10-28 & Remove Taxiway E – Cape May Airport:  Results from the most recent pavement management study indicate that pavement on Runway 10-28 (the airport’s main runway) is deteriorating and needs restoration. 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 $250,000 in 2023. The project is funded in the amount of approximately $2.3 million by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Multi‐Purpose Building (Hornet Road) – Cape May Airport:  The existing terminal building’s layout and condition are not conducive to future terminal functions and the facility is poorly located. Cape May County is investing significant funds in the development of a new airport entrance at Hornet Road and this project provides for the planning, design, and construction of a new terminal facility at the end of Hornet Road immediately adjacent to the airport’s current FBO and fueling facilities. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $7.4 million in 2023. The project is cost shared in the amount of approximately $250,000 by the Cape May County.

Third Multi-Tenant Building – Cape May Airport:  Cape May Airport has experienced increased development and business interest. The Authority has constructed and leased two multi-tenant buildings, and there is demand for a third. The project provides for the construction of an additional multi-tenant light industrial building to accommodate new tenancy requests. This project has an estimated DRBA cost of $1.8 million in 2023 and $1.5 million in the out years.

The entire planning document can be viewed on the Authority’s website, www.drba.net.

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 www.drba.net.

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