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(Lewes, DE) Today, Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) officials announced that the planned rehabilitation of the Freeman Highway Bridge is scheduled to begin in early March 2010 and will continue through September 30, 2010.
The project work will be done by Mumford & Miller of Middletown, Delaware, at a cost of approximately $1.8 million. According to Senior Project Engineer Joseph Volk, the Authority wants to keep traveling inconvenience to a minimum. “We have scheduled this project in two phases so summer traffic activity is not impacted,” Volk said. “Due to the nature of the first phase, traffic on the Freeman Highway Bridge will be reduced to one lane which will be regulated with a traffic signal on the approach to both sides of the Bridge. We plan to complete this on or before June 25 so that both lanes on the Bridge can be open for the busy summer season.”
Volk added that uniformed police officers will be on-scene and will have the capability of regulating the traffic signal, if necessary. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of September 2010.
Originally constructed about 45 years ago and last painted in 1978, the Freeman Highway Bridge needs to be cleaned, repainted, and rehabilitated. The concrete piers exhibit some deterioration and require repair work. Bridge parapets will be replaced and upgraded to current standards. The bridge expansion joints, approach slabs, and miscellaneous steelwork require rehabilitation as well. Freeman Highway guiderail requires replacement as well and will be done during the bridge rehabilitation.
The principal work consists of the following: milling the hot mix overlay and resurfacing with latex modified concrete, replacing approach slabs, replacing three expansion joints, replacing the parapets and sidewalks, replacing 36 expansion rocker bearings, performing some steelwork repairs, replacing navigation lighting, installing fiberglass-reinforced plastics for piers and abutments, erecting underbridge slope protection for abutments, and replacing guiderail, curb and gutter, catch basins and piping.
The DRBA has designed the project for as few delays as possible. However, some delays should be expected, especially during the first phase of the project. The safety of the traveling public and on-site highway contractors is the agency’s highest priority. The posted speed limit of 35 mph in the construction zone will be strictly enforced. Motorists are urged to be careful and stay alert in and around construction zones, obey all posted speed limit signs, and plan to take a few extra minutes during the commute.