Just over a year after a part of Route 209 through Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area was closed due to road failure Superintendent John J. Donahue, National Park Service, announced that the road re-opened to vehicles on Wednesday, November 21. For Superintendent Donahue and many others the drive from here to there just got a few miles shorter, and just in time for the busiest travel day of the year.
"Route 209 is the main artery through the Pennsylvania side of the park," said Donahue. "It's used regularly by park visitors, commuters, and local residents. That's why the expeditious and safe completion of this project has been a top priority for park managers."
A section of Route 209 between Route 739 and Route 206 was closed in October 2011 after Federal Highway Administration (FWHA) engineers determined that the road was unsafe for motor vehicles due to significant failure of a 150-yard segment of the road at Mile Marker 15.3, about two miles north of Route 739.
The embankment on the east side of the road slumped and dropped approximately eight vertical feet taking a section of the McDade Recreational Trail with it; cracks developed in the road surface as the pavement separated and dropped approximately six inches in some places; and large voids developed under the pavement.
Since that time, the road has been closed and a detour has been in effect between Dingmans Ferry and Milford, PA.
The $4.3million repair and reconstruction project was funded through the FHWA's Emergency Repairs for Federal Roads program and includes: reconstruction and stabilization of the roadbed; repaving of the road surface; and installation of guardrails, new and upgraded drainage improvements, and a six hundred foot retaining wall.
The project also includes realignment of the McDade Recreational Trail which will re-open in the spring of 2013.