Indian River Inlet Bridge Summer Construction Announced

by Dave on June 11, 2009

Minimal road impacts to motorists, pedestrians, cyclists

Indian River –  The Department of Transportation announces that Skanska USA Civil Southeast Inc. (Skanska) is completing a successful test pile program that began in November 2008, and will soon be putting in place pylon foundations that will be the first permanent infrastructure for the new bridge.

Data received from the test pile program indicates that the number of piles required and the required lengths are adequate to support the structure throughout its design life of 100 years.

Skanska will continue to drive piles on the north side and south side of the inlet through mid-summer as the two construction teams begin their friendly competition to construct the pylon structures and eventually bridge decking over the inlet.

Pylons Will Support New Bridge Deck

The next phase of construction involves the installation of the pylon foundations.  This involves utilizing the 291 pre-stressed concrete piles that are continually being delivered to the site.   The pylon foundation work involves using a large crane and hydraulic hammer to pound concrete piles down through three levels of soil (sand on top, clay in the middle and a very dense sand).

Construction anticipated for the next 30-45 days will consist of erecting pylon forms, building pylon foundations for the pylon towers and installing reinforcing steel.  Notably, approximately 1000 cubic yards of concrete will go into each pylon foundation.  There is 35,000 cubic yards of concrete on the project, which is enough to fill a football field 21 feet deep.

Additional temporary piles will be installed onsite as part of the system that will be constructed to support portions of the bridge over land until the cable stay supports are installed.  This is known as falsework, as it will not become part of the final bridge structure.   Construction of the “falsework” structure will begin within the next two weeks.

Design 70 Percent Complete

Design of the structure is continuing and is approximately 70 percent complete.  The benefit of the design-build contract process is being able to move forward with some initial construction before the final design is completed.  Once the design is completed, construction will accelerate.

Some of Skanska’s upcoming work will require minimal lane and shoulder closures on Route 1 over the existing bridge during the summer months.  DelDOT does not anticipate any traffic backups associated with this lane/shoulder restriction.

In addition, materials are being delivered to the site via Routes 26 and 9, but no delays have been reported or are expected due to this activity.

There may be minimal, short-duration impacts on Turn Point Road, which runs on the south side of the inlet back to South Shore Marina, which will involve flagging or one-way traffic during the delivery of materials.

The new bridge will be open to traffic by summer 2011. The current bridge will remain open while the new bridge is being built.

Motorists are always encouraged to visit the project Web site – www.irib.deldot.gov – to receive timely and accurate traffic updates, view traffic cameras or obtain general project information.

DelDOT cautions motorists who travel in and around the existing Indian River Inlet Bridge to lower their speed to 35 mph through the construction work zone.  As activity around the bridge increases, motorists should stay focused on the road and not become distracted by the construction activity.

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