JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — An ongoing stretch of bad weather has delayed progress on a much needed bridge repair project in the Jersey City area, New Jersey transportation officials said Wednesday.

Dan Triana, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said the harsh winter has made continued work difficult on the bridge, which crosses Jersey City and Kearny. That's forced officials to push back their schedule.

Installation of the center section of the new span, a lift bridge which allows ships to pass underneath, will have to wait until summer.

Construction of the $480 million replacement bridge began in November 2011 and is scheduled to be fully completed in 2022. The project is being built in five phases but the construction phases are not sequential, Triana said.

When completed, the new bridge will have wider lanes and shoulders and will be higher than the 1930-era span it replaces. This means the new bridge won't have to open for boat traffic as frequently as the old bridge.

The new replacement bridge will continue to bear the name of Henry Otto Wittpenn, a former mayor of Jersey City and member of the state highway department. Wittpenn died in 1931.