Press Release -- April 25, 2008
IRIB Embankment Project Awarded

Removal Scheduled to Begin Week of April 28

The current Indian River Inlet Bridge.

The current Indian River Inlet Bridge.

Sussex County -- The Department of Transportation (DelDOT) announces that the contract for the partial removal of the approaches for a new Indian River Inlet Bridge has been awarded to Richard E. Pierson Construction Company Inc. for the amount of $1,467,989. The work is anticipated to begin the week of April 28, 2008 and will last approximately 130 calendar days.

It is required that portions of the embankment material be removed from the site prior to construction of a new Indian River Inlet Bridge. Any delays in the embankment removal could further delay the start of the bridge replacement construction project.

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 area closest to the Inlet to a point approximately 600 feet back from the Inlet on each side. The height of the material to remain will be approximately 20 feet.

From May 23 to Sept. 2, hauling will not be permitted between noon on Fridays and 9 a.m. on Mondays. In addition, no hauling will be allowed during Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or Labor Day holidays. It is not anticipated that the contract will extend to Labor Day.

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. This is the only area in the park where we could use the now excess material that had all the environmental and historical clearances required under federal regulations, was available for immediate use, required minimal site preparation (no utility adjustments), and wouldn't have a major impact to existing parking facilities during the summer months. It should be noted that a full permit review for another area in the park would have taken 4-5 months to complete.

The remaining 70,000 cubic yards of material will be 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.

Material from the south side of the Inlet will be first hauled to the Quillen site, and last 30-40 working days. Almost concurrently, material from the north side of the Inlet will be hauled to the park area.

The material stored at the state sites will be available for future projects, which was a requirement for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to participate in the costs. The material has been tested and determined to be suitable for placement in the parking lot and at the pits.

DelDOT evaluated multiple options, ranging from future highway project sites in Dover, Little Heaven, and Milford as well as state-owned properties (borrow pits) in Sussex County, and multiple areas within the Delaware State Seashore Park. Each site was evaluated on the following factors: proximity to the Indian River site, availability of right of way, environmental clearance (for wetlands as well as historical significance), and acceptability to the FHWA to maximize their participation in the costs.

One of the main goals was to expedite the removal of the embankment material, so the separate contract for the construction of a new Indian River Inlet Bridge can begin. Any delays could jeopardize the bridge construction from beginning. The bridge replacement contract is anticipated to be awarded in summer, with pre-construction work starting in summer or early fall. The new bridge is scheduled to be available to traffic no later than December 2011.

Hauling Information

- From May 23 to Sept. 2, hauling will not be permitted between noon on Fridays and 9 a.m. on Mondays. In addition, no hauling will be allowed during Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or Labor Day holidays. It is not anticipated that the contract will extend to Labor Day.
- The contractor is responsible to keep all roadways, including park access roads in a "broom-clean condition" as directed.
- The contractor must use dump trucks with approved covers (tied down in front, back, and both sides) to receive payment for hauling material.
- "Truck Traffic", "Road Work Ahead" and "Flagger Ahead" signs will be posted at the access points to all disposal sites. Flaggers will also be used in these areas for safety.
- Time restrictions for hauling offsite: No off-site hauling from 12pm Friday to 9:00 am on Monday between May 23 and September 2. Also no hauling on Memorial Day through 9:00 am the day after, no hauling from 12 pm on July 3, through 4th of July weekend, no hauling on Labor Day through 9:00 am the following day (it is not anticipated that the contract will extend to Labor Day at this time).
- There are provisions in the contract to perform roadway repairs if they become necessary due the increased truck traffic. DelDOT does not anticipate this occurring.

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).

The bridge replacement contract is anticipated to be awarded in summer, with pre-construction work starting in summer or early fall. The new bridge is scheduled to be 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.