DelDOT to Repair Bridges Over Lewes and Rehoboth Canal - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

DelDOT to Repair Bridges Over Lewes and Rehoboth Canal

Posted: May 22, 2018 3:54 PM Updated:

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del.- DelDOT says the bridges that stretch over the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal need about $8 million in repairs. The agency plans to start that work in October of 2019.

"If we didn't do the work it would continue to deteriorate and then eventually we would have to do some much more costly repairs," explains DelDOT Bridge Engineer Jason Hastings. "Possibly even replace the bridge rather than just fixing some of the elements."

Hastings says DelDOT will repair the concrete deck, concrete barriers, bearings underneath the bridges, joints that connect the deck, and fix the piers and abutments. While it's a large project, Hastings says they'll never entirely shut them down. Instead, he says cars will be re-routed via crossovers. While southbound traffic will be two lanes, at certain points the northbound side will reduce to one lane. That's something that bothers local businessman Tom Poor.

"It's going to be a bottle neck and people are going to visualize that," says Poor, who owns Bin 66 Wine and Spirits. "They're going to be like 'Oh I'm not going to head down to the forgotten mile because of that,' and then most of merchants down here are kind of going to be out of luck on that."

Poor says the timeline of the work bothers him as well, as he says many people still visit their beach properties from October-December. Dave Bellinger with next door Bellinger's Jewelers agrees.

"It will be our 45th anniversary Christmas selling season," he tells WBOC. "While I'm not thrilled, I will do my best to promote the fact that we are still open for business and that again it's very necessary this be done."

Both businessmen tell WBOC they understand how important it is to improve infrastructure, especially these bridges.

"The bridge itself is over 30 years old," Bellinger says. "The underpinnings are starting to show their age, as it were, to put it mildly."

Hastings says he understands peoples' concerns, but says they need to do the project now before a complete replacement becomes necessary.

"The bridge is safe and we are just trying to give it another 40-50 years before another major maintenance project is needed," he says.

Public comment on the project is being taken until June 20th. A virtual workshop on the project can be found here


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