New Indian River Inlet Bridge halfway done


Public invited to attend open house April 24

The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and Skanska USA Civil Southeast Inc. (Skanska) this week announced that construction on the new Indian River Inlet Bridge is approximately 50 percent complete.

And, to celebrate the milestone, DelDOT and Skanska are inviting the public to attend an outdoor open house-style public workshop and participate in a construction site tour at the Indian River Inlet Bridge on Saturday, April 24, from 1 to 4 p.m.

The event will be held in the Delaware Seashore State Park’s South Inlet Day Use parking lot on the southeast side of the existing bridge. Parking will be available and will be free to the public.

To date, many construction milestones have been met, officials noted. For example, the pile-driving program has been completed, all concrete footers have been cast in place, and the four identifying pylon towers continue to rise above the inlet. The pylon towers are currently built to just more than 125 feet high. Each week they continue to be built up, and they will eventually reach a height of 249 feet.

This month marks the half-way point of construction, as the:

• Precast floor beams are almost all in place;
• Bulb T girders begin arriving for the approach spans;
• Concrete deck pours will begin;
• Foundation columns and piers will be completed; and
• Building of the form traveler continues in preparation of construction over inlet.

Over the next few months, deck construction and back-span and main-span construction will continue while the stay-cable erection process will begin. The project is expected to be completed in the late spring of 2011.

“This is an exciting time for DelDOT and for the public. Our bridge is becoming a reality. I invite everyone to take advantage of this unique opportunity to discover firsthand the awe-inspiring feat of bridge construction,” said Secretary of Transportation Carolann Wicks.

The workshop will consist of information stations where the public can receive specific information about various aspects of the bridge construction. Information will be available about the design-build process, pile driving and the use of concrete, the pylon forms with reinforced steel, the falsework structure, the stay-cable erection system, the traveler, the approach spans of the bridge, and the final features of the bridge and their functionality. Many of these informational stations will include visual examples of the different elements of bridge construction.

Representatives from the University of Delaware will be on site to discuss the monitoring capabilities of the new bridge. Information about the roadway approaches and park improvement contracts will also be available. Several bridge designers, engineers and specialists will be on hand to discuss the bridge’s construction.

A highlight of the event will be the opportunity to participate in a construction site tour. A bus will allow attendees to take a guided and narrated tour of the construction site.

The location is accessible to persons having disabilities. Anyone having special needs or requiring special aid, such as an interpreter for the hearing impaired, is being asked to contact DelDOT by phone or mail one week in advance.

Visit www.irib.deldot.gov online for the latest construction progress information, to view a monthly photo gallery, to view real-time cameras or to obtain educational material to learn more about the bridge.