Delaware Memorial Bridge Traffic Bounces Back from COVID Lows

July 12, 2021

Delaware Memorial Bridge Traffic Bounces Back from COVID Lows

Registers Record Traffic Volume in June 2021

NEW CASTLE, Del. – Today, Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) officials reported record traffic volume for the month of June at the Delaware Memorial Bridge.  For the month, the Bridge handled 1,627,547 vehicles, eclipsing the previous all-time record of 1,619,637 vehicles set in June 2019.  The strength in Commercial vehicles and Class 1 (passenger cars) offset continued weakness in daily commuter numbers for the month.

“We’re somewhat surprised at how quickly traffic volumes have rebounded,” said Thomas J. Cook, Executive Director of the DRBA. “Commercial traffic has been rather robust for the first six months of the year, but Class 1 passenger vehicles hadn’t rallied until this past month.  Daily commuter traffic is still off 30-35% compared to 2019 numbers.  These trends appear to reinforce what some experts have suggested as we recover from the pandemic – telecommuting for work continues to be prevalent and there’s a pent-up demand for vacations and travel.”

Cook noted that the bi-state agency had modeled a 10% decline in 2021 traffic compared to 2019 figures, which was a record year for traffic on the Delaware Memorial Bridge.  During the first six months of 2021, Delaware Memorial Bridge traffic has been slowly recovering.

Month                                        2021                                  2019                              Diff

January                                 1,128,760                        1,242,187                    -113,427

February                                  947,280                        1,159,315                    -212,035

March                                   1,291,613                        1,338,425                      -46,812

April                                      1,407,160                        1,558,271                    -151,111

May                                       1,531,717                        1,598,712                      -66,554

June                                      1,627,547                        1,619,637                       +7,910

In 2020, Delaware Memorial Bridge traffic numbers were dramatically impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In March 2020, traffic volume plummeted more than 350,000 vehicles, most of the decline occurred during the last two weeks of the month.  Bridge transactions fell to a mere 559,435 in April 2020, a decline of nearly 66%.  May 2020 numbers declined by 50%, totaling 875,000 transactions for the month.  Traffic numbers stabilized during the summer months but remained down by more than 20% compared to the previous year. 

Bridge Aerial with traffic

For 2020, the Bridge handled 14,124,440 vehicles through the southbound toll plaza, a drop of nearly 23% compared to the 2019 figure of 18,288,314.  Revenue at the Delaware Memorial Bridge was off more than $16 million.

Multiple construction projects continue at the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Motorists will experience lane closures associated with Steelwork Repair, Suspender Rope Replacement Program as well as Bridge Painting projects during the next several months.   DRBA engineers have designed these important capital projects to minimize traffic delays to the extent possible, but some are expected, particularly during peak travel times. Motorists are encouraged to follow us on Twitter for the latest construction news and traffic conditions.  

The safety of the traveling public, highway contractors on-site, and DRBA employees continue to be the highest priority. Commuters and travelers are urged to be careful and stay alert in and around construction zones, obey posted speed limits, and plan to take a few extra minutes during rush hour periods.

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