Cape May-Lewes Ferry officials have announced the installation of new passenger boarding bridges at the Cape May and Lewes terminal locations has begun. The project includes replacement of four boarding bridges that connect the Lewes and Cape May terminals to the ferry vessels to allow for the loading and unloading of walk-on passengers. The new passenger boarding bridges are composed of white stainless steel trusses with glass side panels and a blue standing seam roof, matching the existing terminal roof.
“We are very excited about the installation of new passenger boarding bridges at both the Lewes and Cape May terminals,” said Heath Gehrke, director of ferry operations. “The improved design will enhance the customer’s boarding processes, providing an experience not unlike boarding a modern cruise ship.”
Construction preparation work is underway in Lewes and is expected to begin in Cape May later this month, followed by a phased demolition of the existing tubes at both terminal locations. Construction activity will take place simultaneously at both terminal locations, and the project is scheduled to be completed by the end of November. The final older passenger boarding bridge is expected to be removed at the end of October.
For approximately one month, late October through the end of November, foot passengers will only be able to access the vessels via the vehicle bridges. “We are making every effort to minimize inconvenience to our customers from this construction activity,” said Gehrke. “It’s our plan is to make these improvements as quickly as possible.”
During the construction period, mobility-impaired passengers will have limited access on some vessels. Rather than going to the terminal building for instructions on loading, passengers should go to the toll booth for directions during this time. Passengers are encouraged to call the ferry’s Guest Services Center at 800-643-3779 for more information.
The cost of the infrastructure improvement project is approximately $4.25 million, according to Delaware River and Bay Authority Executive Director Scott Green. When completed, the DRBA, which operates the ferry, will have invested more than $10 million in the Cape May, N.J. and Lewes areas during the past two years to complete three major construction projects at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry operation, including the Sandman Boulevard rehabilitation, interior vessel renovations and new passenger boarding bridges.
The prime contractor, JPC Group Inc. of Blackwood, New Jersey, will be responsible for all installation activities. The Barcelona-based engineering firm TEAM Company completed the project design plans and fabricated the boarding bridges.
The Cape May-Lewes Ferry is owned and operated by the Delaware River and Bay Authority, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962. For schedule, rates and other program information, please visit www.CMLF.com, or call toll free, 800-643-3779. Like on Facebook or follow on Twitter @CMLFerry.