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Lewes, Delaware
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April 16, 2010     Cape Gazette
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April 16, 2010
 

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14 FRIDAY, APRIL 16 - MONDAY, APRIL 19, 2010 .... NEWS Cape Gazette Indian River Inlet Bridge reaches halfway mark DelDOT says bridge to open spring 2011 By Rob Kunzig rkunzig@capegazette.com The Indian River Inlet Bridge is halfway done, and if construc- tion proceeds as planned, the bridge should open to traffic in spring 2011. The bridge's 125-foot pylons, their tops shrouded in scaffold- ing, are visible for miles along Route 1. In the coming months, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and contractor Skanska will build the pylons to their full height of 249 feet and begin building the bridge's main span - 900 feet of concrete and steel stretching over the inlet. "We've entered the peak, now;' said construction manager Peo Halvarsson. "The meat and pota- toes of it. "There are alot of things hap- pening." Skanska is assembling form travelers - rolling frames needed for supporting the bridge as it's built over water - on the inlet's north and south shores. After La- bor Day, Halvarsson said, they'll begin stringing up 16.5 miles of cobalt-blue cable stays. During that time, DelDOT will restrict two-way bridge traffic to the northbound lane. The south- bound lane will be open only to cyclists. "This is an exciting time for the public," said Secretary of Transportation Carolann Wicks in a press release. "Our bridge is becoming a reality." DelDOT spokeswoman Tina 00;chool ll}oard spicerforcape.com FREE SINK Buy 12 cabinets and receive a FREE sink CABINET cabinet. Expires 4/30/10 Shockley said a separate contract will be awarded for the construc- tion of two bridge approaches and the demolition of the old bridge. She said the project will available for bid before the end of Apr.. The state is confident in the proposed schedule, but Halvars- son said building in Delaware has presented more than a few challenges. "It's a tough climate," he said. "It's a severe and aggressive en- vironment." Halvarsson has built bridges in his homeland of northern Swe- den and in charleston, S.C., where he helped erect the majes- tic Cooper River Bridge. He and his crew have had to contend with high winds, nor'easters and two brutal February blizzards, which halted construction for 25 days, Building near the Atlantic Ocean also presents hazards, he said. High winds carry salt spray, which corrodes Steel and con- crete over the years. To prevent potentially cata- strophic damage, Halvarsson said, Skanska will flood the stay cable interiors with hot wax, which will encase the individual strands inside. To protect the superstructure, all steel will covered by a mini- mum of 2 inches of low-perme- ability concrete. "The more porous it is, the more susceptible it is to the envi- ronment," he said. "What we're using is very dense." Haivarsson said Skanska has worked closely with local busi- nesses; as of March, it's Spent nearly $6 million on subcontrac- tors, more than half of which was spent on concrete from Mills- boro-based Thoro-Goods. Hal- varsson said an estimated 230 people labored on the site as of early April; as the pace picks up, he said, that number could in- crease by 40. Last month, members of the General Assembly pressured DelDOT for the results of a three-year investigation into why initial attempts to build a new bridge failed. In a March 22 letter, Wicks said she would not divulge de- tails that could jeopardize the in- vestigation but said lawmakers could be confident that DelDOT is fully exploring the facts. Estimates of the potential loss suffered from the failed ap- proaches range from $10 milh'on to $20 million, 20 percent of which was funded by the state. ROB KUNZlG PHOTO TRUCKS HAULING CONCRETE BEAMS to the bridge construction site are be- coming a common sight on Route 9 outside of Georgetown. Kttchea'82 T'de DOORS d  COUNTERTOPS " LAUNDRY ROOMS BEDROOMS BASEMENTS OFFICES ENTERTAINMENT CENTERS FINANCING AVAILABLE 26836 ,.,Harbeson, DE 19951 Showroom Hours , Appointment I lllh ............ ;I [llll]]llllllllr[ll FI]III[IIIIII|I$11 ..... Jm .....