A Rebuttal to DRPA's Ben Franklin Bridge FAQ
Thanks to Jim Kriebel for this analysis of DRPA's Ben Franklin Bridge Statement
Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2006 11:53 AM
Why can’t the walkway be extended for easier bike access?
Several years ago, DRPA engineers conducted a feasibility study for extending the walkway on the south side of the bridge for bike access by eliminating steps. The findings indicated cost, grade and other logistical issues that make it difficult to consider building an extended walkway along bridge abutments in Camden. While the Philadelphia approach to the walkway is at grade level, the structural conditions are quite different in Camden due to the location of PATCO’s yard and underground tunnel, the bridge maintenance yard, abutment sidewalks, and Camden’s 5th Street pedestrian tunnel. Extending the walkway poses engineering challenges, community challenges and architectural challenges.
We would have to cut off access to the 5th Street pedestrian tunnel,
Not true, a ramp could end right at the 5th street tunnel.
create a structure to span the underground PATCO tunnel,
No reason to do this if both sets of stairs are eliminated (north and south walkways)
extend the width of abutment sidewalks, eliminate metered parking along Pearl Street – cutting off revenue for the Camden Parking Authority and cutting much-needed parking for Rutgers-Camden University,
Not true – Pearl Street is very wide. It could be narrowed by a few feet with no problem. In fact the sidewalk exists right next to where the stairs touch down.
and design and build a structure that would match the granite facade at the bridge abutment.
Not true – none of the walkway has a granite facade. It’s all exposed metal (except at the anchorages).
This is purely a case of asking engineers to come excuses, not solutions. And since the DRPA is paying that’s what the engineers do.
Birds Eye View of the Bridge Walkways (Click S on the compass for the North Walkway)