Sussex Residents and Community Leaders Come Together to Shape the Design of the New Indian River Inlet Bridge
On April 9, more than 60 area residents participated in a daylong design charette in Rehoboth Beach. According to Nathan Hayward III, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Transportation, "The charette gave the community a chance to work together in the design process to shape a bridge that best reflects their vision, and is something they will be proud of for many years to come." Participants represented boating and fishing, neighborhood and civic, the arts, business and environmental, cycling, public safety, municipal, county, and state, as well as numerous area residents and local and state elected officials.
Charette participants were united in their desire to see a design that maximizes the unparalleled view from the bridge, fits in with the natural beauty of the surrounding area, and will be cost effective for the needs of the project.
FIGG Bridge Engineers, the award-winning firm leading the design, presented five potential themes for the project. Linda Figg, President of FIGG, told participants, "the project theme is important because it establishes a consistent concept for developing designs for all elements of the bridge." These elements would include not only the bridge, but also lighting and railing styles. Participants selected two themes to develop further ? a nature theme and a nautical theme. They were also shown eight different cable-supported bridge shapes and selected two options to explore in further detail.
At the end of the day, one of the participants, Robert Stickels, Sussex County Administrator, commented, "I was impressed by the attendance, the professional, yet down to earth presentations made by the design team and I particularly appreciated the insights and suggestions made by the other participants."
Dennis O'Shea, Project Director for the Indian River Inlet Bridge project and Assistant Director of Transportation Solutions, said, "the charette was just one step in an extensive public involvement process. The next step will be a public workshop where the bridge design concepts, the results of the first design charette, park access options and environmental impacts will be presented."
The workshop will be held at two locations?April 23 at the Rehoboth Convention Center and April 24 at The Clubhouse at the Village of Bear Trap Dunes in Ocean View. The public is invited to attend either workshop any time between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.