New legislation allowing limited use of U.S. Route 209 through Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area by some commercial vehicles was signed into law by President Biden as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2023 on Dec. 29, 2022.
The previous law allowing eligible commercial vehicles to use U.S. Route 209 with a permit expired on Sept. 30, 2021.
Until the new law expires on Sept. 30, 2026, operators of local commercial vehicles with four or fewer axles may obtain a permit to use U.S. Route 209 if the vehicle is owned and operated by a business that is physically located in the park or in one or more of nine adjacent municipalities, or if the operator is serving a business or person located in the park or in one or more of the adjacent municipalities.
Adjacent municipalities include the following: Delaware Township, Dingman Township, Lehman Township, Matamoras Borough, Milford Township, Milford Borough, Middle Smithfield Township, Smithfield Township and Westfall Township.
All other commercial vehicles are prohibited on Route 209 through the park. School buses transporting students for school or school-related activities and fire, ambulance, and other public safety and emergency vehicles do not need a permit to use the road.
The use of government roads within national park areas by commercial vehicles, when such use is in no way connected with the operation of the park area, is prohibited under federal regulations. This law, and other the commercial vehicle laws that were in place in the past, provides an exception to that general regulation under certain conditions and parameters, as defined by legislation.
For information about the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area visit www.nps.gov/dewa or follow on social media at www.facebook.com/DelWaterGapNPS and www.instagram.com/DelWaterGapNPS; or call the information desk at (570) 426-2452.