Wilmington, DE – The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) announces an update on the status of the bridge closure on I-495.
After 36 hours of monitoring through tilt sensors on the bridge’s support columns, there has been no significant movement of the columns (less than .02 degrees). The bridge is currently stable, but we still do not know what is going on below the surface; therefore, subsurface investigations are underway.
Because we do not fully know what is going on under the surface, we are investigating a range of options that design around the root causes of the current condition, including the potential soft soils around the base of the piers, corrosion at the steel piles, and compressible soils.
As of today, DelDOT has assembled the project team and contractor to explore strategies to get the bridge temporarily supported to restore traffic safely as soon as possible. The soil removal operations that began Monday night will continue until all soil has been removed adjacent to the bridge. We are continuing to gather information about the dimensions of the pile and possible involvement. While it is still too early to reach conclusions, our current priority is to remove the soil. DelDOT began securing the work site and fencing will be installed Thursday morning.
Traffic congestion declined on Wednesday as travelers heeded the warnings regarding the I-495 closure. DelDOT’s Traffic Section has completed the design of the temporary traffic signal at the I-495 northbound ramp at Terminal Avenue.
We are continuing to coordinate with Delaware State Police to control the intersection. DelDOT is also working with the City of Wilmington in mitigating traffic volumes in the city.
DelDOT and DART First State are encouraging transit use. DART will be adding specific bus connections to the major downtown employers and are monitoring SEPTA utilization and SEPTA can add additional cars if necessary. Attached is important DART information that will help commuters avoid the congestion.