Wilmington, Del. — After 36 hours of monitoring through tilt sensors on the bridge's support columns, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) reported that there has been no significant movement of the I-495 Bridge columns (less than .02 degrees). The bridge is currently stable, but DelDOT said it still does not know what is going on below the surface; therefore, subsurface investigations are underway.
Because it does not fully know what is going on under the surface, DelDOT said it is 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 Wednesday, June 4, DelDOT had 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. DelDOT continues to gather information about the dimensions of the pile and possible involvement. While it is still too early to reach conclusions, the agency’s current priority is to remove the soil. DelDOT began securing the work site and fencing was to be installed Thursday morning.