Indian River – The Department of Transportation (DelDOT) announces that Skanska USA Civil Southeast Inc., the design-build contractor for the new $150-million Indian River Inlet Bridge, has completed its construction schedule and will resume Construction Advisory Group meetings this month to keep the public informed about the construction of the new bridge.
What Is The Construction Schedule?: Open To Traffic Spring/Summer 2011 Skanska has developed an aggressive construction schedule with the goal of completing the bridge earlier than what was specified by DelDOT. While the design of the bridge will continue throughout this year, actual construction on the piling for the bridge foundations has already begun. The following is a construction timeline for the bridge:
• Design Bridge: 2008 – 2009
• Mobilization: Winter 2008 – early 2009
• Concrete Piles: Winter 2008 – Summer 2009
• Footings: Summer 2009 – Fall 2009
Substructure Abutments / Piers For Bridge
• Approaches: Summer 2009 – Fall 2009
• Pylons: Summer 2009 – Summer 2010
• Bridge Approach Spans: Winter 2009 – Spring 2010
• Superstructure/Cable Stay:> Spring 2010 – Winter 2010
• Bridge Open to Traffic: Spring/Summer 2011
What Are Construction Advisory Group Meetings?: Monthly Updates
Construction Advisory Group meetings provide an update on the design-build contract and on the schedule for the construction of the bridge. While Construction Advisory Group meetings are open to the public, they are designed to provide a monthly update to those who are directly affected by the construction (nearby homeowners, businesses, Chambers of Commerce, users of Delaware Seashore State Park, etc.).
Construction Advisory Group meetings, which have occurred previously on this project, will resume later this month. Previous attendees will be notified. The minutes from the meeting will be posted on DelDOT’s Web site (www.deldot.gov).
What’s Happening Now?: Designing The Bridge and Testing Currently, Skanska is directing much of their attention to the “design” part of the “design-build” contract. They are currently designing the bridge structure (see attached graphic) which will include two 240 foot high towers / pylons on each side of the bridge with single plane cable stays. The new bridge will also be 2,600 feet long, including a
900-foot clear span over the inlet, with 1,700 feet of bridge decking over the land. All supports will be out of the water, eliminating the scour conditions that currently exist. The foundations will be supported on 36 inch-square piles. Under the new design, the minimum vertical clearance will increase from the existing 35 feet to 45 feet over the navigational portion of the inlet. The bridge will have two 12-foot wide travel lanes, a 10-foot wide outside shoulder, and a 4-foot wide inside shoulder in each direction. Additionally, one 12-foot wide sidewalk will be accessed from the east side of the bridge.
Skanska currently has cranes on site to start driving the piling for the pylons. The pile driving operations, and the pile load testing and monitoring required to complete the pylon foundation design will start in earnest this month and continue until Summer 2009.
Also in the next few months, Skanska and DelDOT will be turning to the public for some help in determining some of the architectural and visual features of the bridge, including lighting on the pylon legs and pedestrian walkways, as well as the color of the cable stays and the design for the tops of the pylons. A public workshop to discuss the options and locations for voting will be announced soon.
In addition to the design and limited construction activities, Skanska is performing regular safety and environmental compliance inspections onsite. Skanska has secured the work site, while maintaining appropriate pedestrian and bicycle access along the existing bridge structure. DelDOT is installing cameras to allow the public to view the construction of the bridge, and is building a comprehensive Web site to keep the public informed about the construction. You can visit it at www.deldot.gov/information/projects/indian_river_bridge.
What Happens Next?: Construction Begins
Once the piles are driven, construction activities above ground will start with the construction of the pylons, pier and abutment foundations. These activities are expected to begin in Summer 2009, closely followed by the start of the pylon construction. Both the north side and the south side of the bridge will be constructed at the same time. Separate crews will work on each side of the bridge.
If you plan to visit the park or marina, please note that access may be restricted to certain areas due to construction. Site maps will be located along the pedestrian detour route and on Marina Road near the Delaware Seashore State Park water tank in the coming months. These maps will also be posted on the Web site.
No major traffic impacts are expected this year on SR 1. Likewise, fisherman won’t be directly impacted until mainspan construction in 2010.
How Does It All Come Together?: The Indian River Inlet Bridge & Area Improvements
The bridge construction is just the first of several distinct improvement projects for the Indian River Inlet area. The following area improvements will be completed in this order:
New Indian River Inlet Bridge – begins Fall 2008/anticipated completion Summer 2011
New Roadway Approaches to the bridge – anticipated start late Summer 2010
Existing Indian River Inlet Bridge demolished – anticipated start late 2011
Delaware Seashore State Park enhancements – anticipated start 2012
What’s Happening At Delaware Seashore State Park?: Park Enhancements Delaware Seashore State Park which is operated and maintained by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), encompasses both the north and south sides of the Indian River Inlet. As a result, the proposed realignment of the bridge and roadway approaches to the west of existing SR 1 has required substantial coordination between DelDOT, the DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation, the local community, and several other groups and agencies. Out of these efforts, extensive www.deldot.gov/information/projects/indian_river_bridge/pdf/piw4/park.pdf” park enhancements have been proposed. Included in these enhancements will be significant modification and expansion to the existing park facilities and amenities. Some of the park enhancements will include:
• Day-Use Facility Improvements
• Campsite Improvements, including Laundry Facility
• New and Enhanced Bathhouses
• Park Office
• Contact Stations
• Additional Recreational Areas
• New Lighting and Landscaping
• Handicap Access to New Bridge
• Addition of Cottages (Separate DNREC Contract)
• Marina Improvements (Separate DNREC Contract)
There are currently some campground closures in effect during construction. Please contact DNREC at (302) 227-2800 for further information. These closures will be in effect for the next several years. Access for pedestrians to get to the beach and fisherman will be maintained for the most part during construction. There may be some restrictions at various times during construction.
What’s Going On With the Current Bridge?: Monitoring and Inspection The existing bridge is safe and continues to be monitored annually with visual and underwater dive inspections, and is checked after storm events. These inspections will continue until the new bridge is opened to traffic.
How Can I Stay Informed About The Bridge’s Construction?: Visit www.deldot.gov Once major construction commences, the project area will see significant activity in terms of workers and equipment. The process of building bridges is complex and fascinating, and very interesting to the general public, specific education groups, etc. Some local school groups have already begun learning about the bridge, and more will likely come onboard as construction progresses. More information will be provided on these public opportunities in the months to come.
Keep up to date by going to www.deldot.gov” www.deldot.gov and click on the “Building The Bridge” tab at the top. This Web site will be updated periodically to ensure the public is kept informed. If you have further questions about the bridge, please contact DelDOT’s Office of Public Relations at 1-800-652-5600.