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Hockessin Community News
  • DelDOT reopens southbound I-495 in Wilmington one month ahead of schedule

  • The southbound lanes of I-495 through Wilmington opened yesterday, a month ahead of schedule, following the successful realignment of the southbound lanes of the I-495 Bridge spanning the Christina River.
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  • The southbound lanes of I-495 through Wilmington opened yesterday, a month ahead of schedule, following the successful realignment of the southbound lanes of the I-495 Bridge spanning the Christina River.
    Delaware Secretary of Transportation Shailen Bhatt announced the news at a press conference yesterday.
    The northbound lanes of I-495 are expected to re-open by Labor Day, Sept. 1, Secretary Bhatt said.
    Project planners had initially said the southbound lanes would be closed to traffic until the Labor Day holiday weekend, and the northbound lanes would be open two weeks to one month later. Work to bore and construct new underground support columns moved more rapidly than anticipated and the process to jack the bridge into alignment took approximately three days to complete, Bhatt said. Both operations could have taken substantially more time if problems had been encountered.
    “A lot of hard work remains to fully reopen the highway, but this is an important milestone in the project,” said Gov. Jack Markell. “I thank Secretary Bhatt, the entire project team at DelDOT and all of the workers who continue to work around the clock to safely complete repairs as quickly as possible. I’m also grateful to Senators Carper and Coons and Congressman Carney for helping to secure the federal funding for this bridge, which is a vital economic link for travel in Delaware and along the northeast corridor.”
    I-495 has been closed to traffic since June 2 when the interstate, which parallels I-95 and serves as a bypass through Wilmington, was shut down due to an unsafe bridge condition in both directions of travel. The 4,800 foot bridge normally carries approximately 90,000 vehicles per day.
    Realigning the tilted bridge has been a collaborative effort between DelDOT, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, AECOM and J.D. Eckman, Inc., according to a DelDOT press release. Various Delaware-based subcontractors and construction trades have also been employed on the project, which has an estimated cost of $35 million.
    Delaware’s congressional delegation was instrumental in helping to secure emergency relief funding from the Federal Highway Administration that will pay 100 percent of the costs to reopen the Interstate, according to the DelDOT press release.
    “Reopening the southbound lanes of I-495 in less than 60 days is only possible because of the tremendous teamwork we have had from day one,” said Bhatt. “DelDOT staff and our engineering and construction partners have literally worked around the clock to make this day happen. They were aided by the fact that all of the necessary personnel, materials and equipment converged on the project site from all over the United States when needed. Although the job is not yet finished, I am grateful for all of the hard work that continues to be done by everyone involved.”
    Page 2 of 2 - For up-to-date travel information visit www.DelDOT.gov and for web enabled telephones and tablets visit www.DelDOT.gov/Mobile

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