Delaware closes I-495 bridge over safety concerns

    Delaware officials have ordered the emergency closure of the Interstate 495 bridge over the Christiana River in Wilmington after discovering that four support columns are tilting.Officials said Monday that columns on the south bank of the river are tilted by as much as 4 percent from vertical. The bridge will be closed until a complete inspection is done.

    Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt said the department received a report Friday from an engineering firm working on an unrelated project about a possible problem with the bridge, and sent out an inspection team Monday morning.

    Officials said the main span of the 4,800-foot bridge is considered fracture critical, meaning that failure of one element could result in failure of the entire bridge. The tilting columns in question support a different span.

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