PRESS RELEASE -- OCTOBER 12, 2006
Indian River Inlet Bridge Construction Update:
Shortlist Of Bidders Stands at Three
Indian River -- The Department of Transportation (DelDOT) has selected three teams who will compete for the right to design and construct a new bridge over the Indian River Inlet. The procurement will be design-build. The teams consisting of bridge contractors and engineering firms are:
-Kiewit Corporation (Lead Partner), Billfinger Berger Inc. and URS Corporation
Each team has previous experience in long span cable stay bridge design and construction. Over the next several months the teams will develop proposals that will include a preliminary design and cost proposal for their proposed structure. The proposals will be reviewed and a team will be selected early next year. Estimated budget for the design-build of the new bridge is $130 million. The design-build process allows a team of bridge design engineers and bridge construction contractors to be responsible for both the design and construction, meeting predetermined design criteria. Typically, projects advertised from DelDOT are completely designed first, then a contractor will build it as per the plan.
The current Route 1 Inlet Bridge provides a critical link on Delaware's eastern coast between Bethany Beach and Dewey Beach. Unfortunately, the current and former bridges called for the crossing to be supported by pilings that rested directly on the floor of the inlet. The new structure will have a main span of approximately 1,000 feet that will allow the bridge to cross completely over the Inlet without any support piers in the water. This will eliminate the current problem of constant erosion caused by the strong Inlet currents, resulting in an Inlet depth of 28 feet when the current bridge was built in 1965 to a depth now of more than 100 feet in areas near the pilings.
The length of the new bridge will also allow for potential widening of the Inlet in the future. The overall project consists of multiple phases: the construction of roadway approaches and wetland mitigation sites (currently under construction), the new bridge construction (mentioned above), demolition of the existing bridge structure (future contract), and State Park improvements including new walkways, camping facility, and parking improvements (future contract).
Delaware's federal legislators U.S. Senators Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Thomas R. Carper, and U.S. Congressman Michael N. Castle have secured sufficient federal funds to specifically support the design and construction of the project over the next several years.
Detailed information on the project is available at www.irib.deldot.gov.