Indian River Inlet Bridge Construction Reaches Milestone Today
Final Bridge Deck Concrete Pour Links North and South Spans
The final segment of the bridge receives concrete as the bridge's north and main spans become one
The Delaware Department of Transportation announces that the last section of main span deck concrete was poured for the new Indian River Inlet Bridge during the late evening hours of Tuesday, October 18, 2011. The final concrete deck pour links the north and south side of the bridge together over the inlet waterway. This event represents an historic milestone in the bridge's construction.
DelDOT Chief Engineer Natalie Barnhart, along with Project Manager Doug Robb, joined members of Skanska USA Civil Southeast and the Design-Build Team for the exciting nighttime pour. Secretary of Transportation Shailen Bhatt said, "DelDOT and the entire Project Team are excited to complete this final bridge deck pour. Bridges are about connecting people in communities, and today we made that much-anticipated connection a reality for the citizens of Delaware."
The event itself consisted of concrete being pumped and poured into a form system completing the final 10-foot section of the main span. Skanska crews worked to successfully complete the 5 foot wide by 6 foot deep edge girders, the final 96 foot long transverse floor beam and the 8 1/2" thick deck section, which spans the final 10 foot opening. In all, the entire closure pour itself took roughly six hours to complete.
This event brings the bridge to over 90% completion. In the coming months, remaining activities include pedestrian bridge barrier installation, deck joint installation, bridge electrical work and lighting, stay cable tensioning and damper installation, load balancing, placement of protective bridge deck overlay, surveying, form traveler removal, tower crane removal, and overall site cleanup.
A specific date for the official opening of two lanes of the new bridge to traffic cannot be set due to the fact that the remaining activities are very weather dependent. In addition, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee delayed bridge construction activities during the end of August and beginning of September which has the potential to affect the goal of opening the bridge to traffic before the end of the year. While it is still possible that DelDOT could potentially open the bridge to traffic by year's end, it is too soon to know for certain. DelDOT expects to be able to announce a completion schedule by the end of November.
Once the completion schedule is set, DelDOT will plan for the opening of two lanes of the bridge with a Ribbon Cutting ceremony. A date for this ceremony will be announced once available.
Meanwhile motorists, cyclists and pedestrians should remain alert as the roadway approach construction continues into the coming months.
DelDOT encourages the public to stay engaged on this project, as the next few months will be very exciting as we bring the bridge construction to completion. Those interested are welcome to follow the project via its website at www.irib.deldot.gov.