The remaining lanes of the Interstate 495 bridge over the Christina River in Wilmington, Del., reopened over the weekend ahead of schedule. Both directions of the bridge were closed June 2 after inspectors found four bridge piers tilted out of alignment.
The Delaware Department of Transportation initially estimated completion for some time after Labor Day. Officials reopened the northbound lanes on Saturday, Aug. 22, three weeks after opening the southbound side.
DelDOT credits the contractors, Aecom and J.D. Eckman, along with subcontractors, Delaware’s congressional delegation and the U.S. Federal Highway Administration for expediting the repairs at an estimated cost of $45 million. The repair involved jacking up part of the bridge and shoring up the piers from below. Workers will remain on the scene to make temporary fixes permanent.
DelDOT says the alignment issue was caused when a contractor working on an unrelated job piled tons of dirt against the bridge structure.
The bridge carries about 90,000 vehicles a day and serves the Port of Wilmington.
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