Summer At Indian River Inlet Bridge
Summer visitors to Sussex County and residents alike will be pleased to see the progress being made by the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and Skanska USA Civil Southeast, Inc. (Skanska) on the new Indian River Inlet Bridge.
Construction-wise, the project is approximately 50% complete. The concrete decks of the bridge are underway and precast floor beams are all being put in place. The bulb T girders have begun arriving on site for the approach spans, the foundation columns and piers are being completed, and the four pylon towers will be reaching their completed height of 249 feet during June.
Also this summer, bridge builders will also be building the form traveler, which is a 200 ton device that will allow the construction of the bridge over the inlet. Likewise, back span and main span construction will continue and the stay cable erection process will begin. The project is expected to be completed in late spring/early summer 2011.
During the summer months, motorists are urged to take note of the 35 mph speed limit through the construction work zone. Pedestrians will move through the area as they have been since the beginning of construction, via the posted detour pedestrian route. This detour route takes pedestrians along Inlet Road through the day use parking lot and then under the existing bridge. At this point the pedestrian will go up a set of stairs to the bridge deck and cross the existing bridge. Once the bridge has been crossed the pedestrian will go down a set of stairs to the south side of Indian River Inlet at the day-use parking lot. During the summer, cyclists will utilize the shoulder of Route 1, including the existing shoulder on Rt. 1 over the existing bridge.
In early September, the Roadway Approach Contract will begin, which will build the approaches and connect them to the new bridge approach spans. This work will require lane shifts and speed restrictions for motorists traveling on Route 1/existing Indian River Inlet Bridge. After Labor Day, traffic restrictions will be put in place which will require motorists to use Route 1 northbound with one lane traveling in each direction. Route 1 southbound will be open to cyclists only. At this time, pedestrians will continue to use the pedestrian detour route outlined above.
Learn About Bridge Construction This Summer
For persons interested in learning more about the bridge building activities, DelDOT and Skanska have partnered with both the Rehoboth Beach/Dewey Beach and Bethany-Fenwick Area Chambers of Commerce to place information about the bridge building activities in these respective communities. Information is in the form of display boards and/or a newsletter. Boards will reference various aspects of the bridge construction activities. The seasonal newsletter provides a look at the bridge building activities occurring this summer.
Beginning Memorial Day Weekend in Rehoboth, visitors and residents alike can find project information boards and newsletters at the Visitor's Center at 501 Rehoboth Avenue, and in the Bethany-Fenwick Area, information will be available at the Chamber Office located at 36913 Coastal Hwy, Fenwick Island.
Photographs and updated information are posted periodically on the multi-media link of the bridge building website, www.irib.deldot.gov. Visitors and residents alike are encouraged to visit the site for a complete photo gallery showing construction of the bridge thus far, a virtual site tour, timelapse video, real-time traffic cameras, the summer newsletter, and educational materials.