Delaware City – 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.
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.
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