The Delaware Department of Transportation has released its plans for the revamp of a six-mile section of Interstate 95 that passes through Wilmington.
The planned three year I-95 viaduct project will begin in February of 2021 and is expected to cause major traffic delays.
The viaduct bridges (BR 1-748, 748N, and 748S) and the Brandywine River Bridge (BR 1-759) are in fair condition with a lot of repair needs to extend the lives of the bridges. The ramp bridges were all constructed at the same time as the mainline bridges and also have repair needs that can more easily be addressed under the Maintenance of Traffic schemes provided during this project.
The mainline concrete pavement between the viaduct and Brandywine River Bridge is beyond its service life and in need of reconstruction. The signage and lighting along the corridor is substandard. The median barrier is severely deteriorated with several areas having been destroyed through vehicular impact, and the guardrail needs to be upgraded to current standards. The mainline bridges were identified as needing work through the Bridge Management System, and the remaining items are more easily achieved under the maintenance of traffic scheme provided under the needed repairs of the bridges. The highest priority bridges are ranked on the 2017 DelDOT Bridge Deficiency List (out of 1625 total bridges) as follows: Bridge 1 -748 is ranked 146th, Bridge 1 -748N is ranked 59th, Bridge 1 -748S is ranked 94th, and Bridge 1 -759 is ranked 99th. By rehabilitating these bridges, the Department will be improving its data associated with meeting the performance measures associated with bridge condition, specifically percentage of bridges in poor or fair condition and percentage of deck area in poor condition for bridges on the NHS.
Portions of the project have been broken out into smaller contracts that will be done before or after the mainline contract. These additional contracts will minimize the long-term lane closures on I-95 to two years. The contract for the construction of the new Second Street ramp and removal of the existing Jackson Street and Second Street ramps has been awarded to RE Pearson Construction, and began in April 2020, with completion expected by Spring 2021. The contract for removal and replacement of sign structures has been awarded to J Fletcher Creamer, which began in March 2020, with completion expected before March 2021. Long-term lane closures on I-95 for the mainline contract are anticipated to begin in February 2021. Several “early work packages” are underway to help minimize the time of the main project. One of these, involving the reconstruction of shoulders and installation of crossovers, will have some impact to traffic starting in Fall 2020. Public outreach is continuing. A virtual public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 12, 2020, from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.ct for the repairs of the existing substructures will begin after the mainline contract, which will likely be in late 2023. Public outreach is underway and will continue with workshops and community meetings.
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