I-495 Christina River bridge reopens to traffic — partially

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Catch multifaceted NBC Philadelphia coverage of the reopening via this link.Catch multifaceted NBC Philadelphia coverage of the reopening via this link.

The southbound span of the I-495 bridge over the Christina River in Delaware reopened to traffic on Thursday last week a month ahead of schedule. Here’s a video from the Delaware News Journal detailing the work on the bridge supports, whose tilting was the primary reason for the original closure, which we reported on in early June attendant to the emergency closure

Delaware DOT officials are crediting the innovative work in concert with them by the principal contractor out of San Antonio. This linked story gives an interesting window into that work, and here’s a video from the Delaware DOT that detailed the proposed repair early in the process.

[youtube -K9hBS1zGmM nolink]

How did crews know the SB span was ready to reopen? Six loaded DelDOT dumps, “which weighed about 100 tons,” State Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt told Philly’s CBS affiliate

Here’s the results:

Bhatt says crews used gauges to measure the response of the span to that weight.

“And the bridge didn’t bat an eyelid,” he said. Read more here. 

The northbound lanes over the bridge remain closed but are also somewhat ahead of schedule, slated for opening likely a few weeks down the road. Overall, the fix under way continues to be described as temporary, too, an emergency maneuver to get traffic flowing again — further closures may occur as Delaware and federal officials pursue the permanent solution, which will require another $15 million worth of work, not quite as much as the estimated $20-$25 million temporary repair project. 

Stay tuned. 

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