I-495 was closed to traffic June 2 due to an unsafe bridge. The southbound lanes were reopened July 31, and now the entire road has reopened.
The northbound lanes of I-495 through Wilmington were reopened to traffic Saturday following the successful realignment of the I-495 Bridge spanning the Christina River, Delaware Secretary of Transportation Shailen Bhatt announced in a press release Saturday afternoon.
The southbound lanes were reopened July 31. This means traffic is now fully restored to the bridge in both directions.
The full reopening of the bridge is occurring earlier than anticipated due to significant time savings achieved during the work to construct new underground support columns, Bhatt said. The process to jack the southbound and northbound sides of the bridge back into alignment also went smoothly. Both operations could have taken substantially more time if problems had been encountered.
“Fully reopening this vital economic link in Delaware and along the northeast in less than three months is a testament to the hard work and dedication of so many individuals,” said Gov. Jack Markell. “Getting this work done quickly was important, but the safety of the traveling public and the many job site workers was very important too. I want to thank Secretary Bhatt, the entire project team at DelDOT, and all of the contractors who gave so much to this project over the last few months. I also want to thank the City for its partnership and our congressional delegation for their support. Finally, I want to thank the traveling public for their patience as DelDOT has worked around the clock to get this highway back in service."
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, Delaware’s Congressional delegation, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, AECOM and J.D. Eckman, Inc. Various Delaware-based subcontractors and construction trades have also been employed on the project, which has an estimated cost of $45 million. Delaware’s congressional delegation was instrumental in helping to secure emergency relief funding from the Federal Highway Administration that will pay one hundred percent of the costs to reopen the Interstate.
“Although the permanent repairs to the bridge are still underway, we are all pleased to be able to restore traffic for the tens of thousands of motorists who use this highway every day,” Bhatt said. “Equally important is that from June 3 through today, we have received nothing but support and cooperation from all of our federal, state, and local partners.”
For up-to-date travel information visit www.DelDOT.gov and for web enabled devices, visit www.DelDOT.gov/Mobile