Wilmington traffic eases with reopening of I-495 Bridge

 (John Jankowski/for NewsWorks)

(John Jankowski/for NewsWorks)

Delaware drivers are taking full advantage of the reopening of the I-495 bridge in Wilmington.

The 400-foot span over the Christina River reopened to regular traffic on Saturday afternoon and was met with positive reactions from drivers on Monday morning.

“My trip into the city this morning was completely quick and uneventful, just the way I like it,” wrote one driver on DelDOT’s Facebook page.

Following the bridge’s closure in June, 90,000 motorists had to find alternate routes, causing traffic backups on all major roads in and out of the city.

Wilmington Councilwoman Hanifa Shabazz, D-4th District, said the bridge opening could not have come at a better time for city residents who experienced a summer filled with increased traffic on local neighborhood streets. 

“I know the neighborhood residents are quite excited,” Shabazz said. “They got it done right in time for the beginning of school. The children can be out catching school buses and that would add to the congestion of the traffic in the inner city. We are very thankful to DelDOT for getting it back online so quickly.”

DelDOT crews have spent the summer realigning tilted support columns on the bridge. The damage is believed to be caused by more than 50,000 tons of dirt that was stockpiled beside the structure.

Earlier this month the Delaware Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Control sent the notices to the DuPont Co. and New Castle-based Alma Properties, LLC. DuPont and Alma own the land where the dirt was stockpiled.

While the bridge is open to traffic, permanent bridge repairs are expected to be carried out through the end of the year.

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