Delaware City Route 9 Bridge Finally Reopens

Delaware City – Delaware City residence can stop driving miles to get to the other side of the canal. Contractors working for the Army Corp of Engineers opened the New Route 9 Bridge around noon on Friday, April 28, 2017.

Construction of the new bridge was originally expected to be completed by February but the cold winter delayed the project.  Crews were on scene Friday adding finising touches and removing construction equipment.

Original Story

According to the Army Corp of Engineer’s website work to replace the Delaware City Bridge 5th/ Rte. 9, in Delaware City, will begin on September 6, 2016.

The R.E. Pierson Construction Company Inc., a New Jersey firm, has been awarded a $3.167-million contract for demolition and replacement of the 5th Street Bridge.

Work is expected to be completed by February 2017. The bridge will be closed to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic for 150 days. Motorists will have to to use alternate routes during construction.

The Delaware City Bridge was originally built in 1933 as a bascule bridge but was sealed and rendered inoperable in 1971. The main span is 89 feet long and the overall length of the bridge is 177 feet.

Updated Story

Old Man Winter has slowed the progress of the new Route 9 bridge being built in Delaware City. The bridge that spans the Delaware City Branch Canal was slated to reopen in February but has been delayed,  according to Army Corp of Engineers Spokesman Tim Boyle.

Bridge Construction
Bridge Construction

Boyle said that the completion date for the Delaware City Bridge Replacement has been moved back due to cold weather. He also mentioned that the project is now scheduled to be completed in late April of this year.

“Work on the bridge has not been stopped. A seven day stretch of warmer weather is needed for the concrete, once poured, to cure. While waiting for that to occur our contractor R.E. Pierson Construction Company Inc. has been working on other elements of the construction.”, said Boyle.

Boyle confirmed that the bridge construction is an estimated at 60-65% complete.

Although he admittedly doesn’t have much say in the Army Corp project, Delaware City’s City Manager, Richard Cathcart does understand the Corp’s need to extend the bridge’s reopen date.

In a statement Cathcart said “pouring concrete in the winter is, at best, risky. If they poured in cold conditions and as a result there was a structural problem with the pour, the bridge would have to be closed again, possibly in the warmer months. A summer closing would have a significant impact on our local business.”

The canal section of Route 9 has remained closed since the aging bridge was demolished in September of 2016.

Residents that would normally use the bridge to get across the canal are currently experiencing a 14 mile detour.

Bridge Construction
Bridge Construction

The original cost of replacing the bridge was set at just over $3 million dollars. It’s unclear if the delay will increase the cost of the construction.

The old bridge, also known as Fifth Street, was built as a drawbridge in 1933 and was converted to a fixed bridge in the earlier 70’s.

Image Credits: Army Corp of engineers

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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at desk@firststateupdate.com.