Press Release -- March 06, 2008
IRIB Embankment Project to Begin

Claims investigator also hired

The current Indian River Inlet Bridge.

The current Indian River Inlet Bridge.

Sussex County -- The Department of Transportation (DelDOT) expects to begin partial removal of the approaches for a new Indian River Inlet Bridge in April. The work will last approximately 100 calendar days. The project is currently being advertised and bids are due by mid-March.

Also, after soliciting and reviewing proposals, DelDOT has hired a claims consultant to investigate the geotechnical work and embankment construction.

Embankment Removal

Approximately 140,000 cubic yards of material consisting of dirt and gravel will be removed from the north and south approaches and taken to four sites in Sussex County. The material will be removed from the north and south sides from the area closest to the Inlet to a point approximately 600 feet on each side. The height of the material to remain is approximately 20 feet on each side of the Inlet.

Approximately 70,000 cubic yards of material will be used for a future parking area in the northwest corner of the Delaware Seashore State Park, near the Inlet. This will raise the property approximately three feet, which will reduce the severity of tidal flooding experienced by park users at the Inlet.

The remaining 70,000 cubic yards of material will be almost equally distributed to the state's Stockley Borrow Pit on Bethesda Road, north of Millsboro, and Quillen Borrow Pit at White Neck Road/Old Mill Road near Millville. Some stone material will be taken to DelDOT's Gravel Hill Maintenance Yard, east of Georgetown. The material stored at the state sites will be available for future projects.

The sites selected met all environmental and cultural permitting agency requirements and received Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approval. The material has been tested and determined to be suitable for placement in the parking lot and at the pits.

The hauling of material will not be permitted between noon on Fridays and 9 a.m. on Mondays from May 23-September 2, 2008. In addition, no hauling will be allowed on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or Labor Day.

Costs of the removal contract will not be known until bids are received.

Claims Investigation

O'Connell & Lawrence began work the week of February 25. The criteria for selection included demonstrated knowledge and experience in handling similar projects; adequate staffing to meet an aggressive schedule; and immediate availability. We expect this investigation to conclude by this summer.

It should not be assumed what the final outcome of the investigation will be.

Bridge Construction Process

The shortlist of those design-build teams interested and qualified to provide design-build proposals on the replacement bridge were selected in January. They are: 1) Indian River Constructors, a Joint Venture of Flatiron Constructors, Inc. and Kiewit Construction, Inc.; 2) PCL Civil Constructors, Inc.; and, 3) Skanska USA Civil Southeast Inc.

These short-listed teams will next submit concept plans, technical and price proposals as outlined in the Request for Proposals (RFP).

DelDOT expects to announce the selected proposal in late spring 2008, and have the bridge available to traffic no later than December 2011.

Background

A longer bridge length is needed because of continuing problems encountered with the approaches for the new bridge. The embankments have settled beyond the original predictions; are shifting and leaning toward the west, and nearby roads have been impacted. Contrary to predications, the movement has not stopped.

The actual length of the proposed bridge previously was approximately 1,400 feet. The new design is proposed to have a bridge that is 2,600 feet long. The design-build of the new bridge structure will cost approximately $150 million. The previous estimate in the last procurement process was $130 million. The increased cost is due to inflation and the longer bridge length.

For the latest information and updates regarding the Indian River Inlet Bridge Project visit: www.irib.deldotlgov or contact DelDOT Public Relations, 1-800-652-5600.