The opening of a second lane on the Delaware Memorial Bridge leaving New Jersey has eased the multi-mile delays of earlier in the week.

"The contractor was able to do some work to enable us to open a second lane," said Jim Salmon, spokesman for the Delaware River and Bay Authority. "They're working around the clock right now and we're not going back to one lane."

The work on the replacement of the suspension ropes was considered to be urgent by the DRBA and meant the closure of one lane of traffic across the span, creating delays on the lower end of the southbound New Jersey Turnpike. Salmon said it was important to shift the weight of vehicles on the bridge to the right side.

"The safety of that bridge is paramount to us," he said. "We will not compromise that in any way, shape or form."

Salmon offered apologies to all who were caught in the delay.

"Many of our own employees sit in that traffic to come to work, so we're hearing about it from all over," he said.

The work on the ropes will continue all summer but "these are the ones that needed attention," Salmon said. Future work is not expected to take up as many lanes as this project.

There is also a cable dehumidification program, which is the second of its kind in the country. "But it won't have the impact of the rope project" or last summer's painting project, according to Salmon.

New Jersey drivers can take Route 322 from Route 295 or the Turnpike to Route 95 in Pennsylvania and completely avoid crossing the bridge.

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