Drivers leaving New Jersey on the Delaware Memorial Bridge can expect a long delay, as three of four lanes are closed for "urgent" work to the bridge.

Delays of several miles approaching the bridge from the New Jersey Turnpike and Route 295 merging onto the Turnpike started early on Wednesday as crews worked to replace three suspension ropes that are very close to each other. A tweet from the Delaware River & Bay Authority described the work as "urgent."

"The traffic has been shifted to the right lane to reduce the load in the work area to maintain required structural factors of safety during this process," Delaware River & Bay Authority spokesman Jim Salmon said. The speed limit on the bridge is 35 MPH while the work is being done.

Salmon said that at times actual work may not be visible to drivers but it is being done as quickly as possible while keeping both drivers and workers safe.

Townsquare Media's Jill Myra said many drivers have started taking the Commodore Barry Bridge to I-95 in Pennsylvania to get into Delaware and points south.

"That eliminates the Delaware Memorial Bridge completely from your travels but there's also a delay crossing the bridge," Myra said.

The work is scheduled to last for "several days" according to Salmon.

Southbound drivers had delays all last summer because of a bridge painting project that forced 16 lanes of traffic approaching the Turnpike's toll plaza at exit No. 1 to merge into two.

Sign up for the WPG Talk Radio 104.1 Newsletter

Get South Jersey news and information e-mailed to you every week.