Wilmington, Del. — Construction of the 32 new underground support columns needed to repair the I-495 bridge were completed today and work to erect the jacking towers that will be used to lift the bridge deck back into alignment is ongoing.
Crews are also closing up the series of 6-foot by 6-foot holes that were made in the bridge deck. These holes were made to allow cranes to lower steel reinforcing cages, each 150 feet tall, into the cases that line each column prior to filling them with concrete.
Plans for the jacking process are being finalized and engineers hope to begin this phase of the project on the southbound side of the bridge within the next two weeks.
If the jacking operation goes well, DelDOT will be able to open the southbound lanes of I-495, and then two weeks to a month later open the northbound lanes, although a specific date is still unknowable at this point. DelDOT had originally estimated the southbound lanes would be open by Labor Day, September 1, but now believes the project could be open a few weeks earlier than expected.