The I-495 bridge over the Christina River in Delaware could be partially re-opened by Labor Day, officials say, but it will take a summer of round-the-clock repairs just to meet that modest goal.
“The southbound lanes of the I-495 bridge spanning the Christina River in Wilmington, DE could be open as soon as Labor Day this year, and the northbound lanes would be opened several weeks after that,” said Shailen Bhatt, Delaware’s transportation secretary, in a briefing yesterday.
Until then: Life will be hell for many Delaware commuters.
"You can't take a large section of highway out, with 90,000 cars a day on it, and assume that there's enough redundancy in the system to absorb it," said Bhatt. "It just isn't there."
The CBS affiliate in Baltimore says repairs will cost $20 million; problems began when soils around the bridge settled, "causing a crack in concrete and damage to steel pilings."