New Castle – At approximately 1:00 a.m. early Saturday morning, March 24, the ZHEN HUA 16, a heavy lift vessel transporting new ship-to-shore (STS) cranes bound for Philadelphia, PA., will be navigating beneath the spans of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, according to Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) Spokesman, James Salmon.
Salmon said as a precaution and to eliminate driver distraction, the Delaware Memorial Bridge, both northbound and southbound, will be temporarily closed to all traffic for a period of approximately 30 minutes while the ship travels north to Philadelphia. This temporary closure may take place sometime between 12:30 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. early Saturday morning. Traffic delays are expected and motorists should plan accordingly.
The distance from the water level to the top of the cranes aboard the ZHEN HUA 16 is 188 feet, 5 inches. Due to tides levels and the Delaware Memorial Bridge’s measured clearances, the vessel must travel under the spans during the period of low tide.
The vessel is expected to clear the bridge with only a 4 and 9 foot clearance, at low tide. This will be the tallest cargo load ever to pass under the Delaware Memorial Bridge, according to Salmon.
More shipments of similar height are expected in the coming years, added Salmon..
Both spans of the Delaware Memorial Bridge will reopen to traffic once the ZHEN HUA 16 clears the structures. Produced by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry Co in China, the two new super-post-Panamax cranes are destined for PhilaPort’s Packer Avenue Marine Terminal.
The ZHEN HUA 16 is currently anchored in the Delaware Bay just off of Lewes.
Approximately 45,000 vehicles pass over the Delaware Memorial Bridge daily.
To see images of the boat and to track its journey click here.