After bridge closes Delaware inspects all spans

first_imgWILMINGTON, Del. — Delaware’s transportation secretary ordered immediate inspections of major bridges in the state on Thursday to see if they might have any problems similar to an interstate bypass that had to close in Wilmington.Meanwhile, the extent of the damage that thousands of cars whizzed past daily before officials realized the bridge was tilting became clear: One of the concrete barriers separating the northbound and southbound lanes popped up 18 inches higher than the other. They are supposed to be the same height.“This is unbelievable,” Delaware Gov. Jack Markell said during a tour of the Interstate 495 span, a critical bypass along I-95.The bridge, which typically carries about 90,000 vehicles daily, has been closed since Monday, snarling traffic on the crucial north-south artery. It will be weeks, perhaps longer, before it reopens.The problems with the bridge were first reported to state officials by an engineer last week. Dave Charles told The Associated Press on Thursday that he was working near the bridge and noticed it appeared to be tilting. He said he sent emails with photos to an employee of the transportation department’s bridge unit at about 6 p.m. May 29 and the official verified he’d received them.His account raises questions about the urgency with which state officials responded.The state transportation department said this week it didn’t learn of the bridge trouble until Friday, May 30. An examination wasn’t done until Monday.last_img

Write your comment Here