Cable Preservation Project Set for the Delaware Memorial Bridge
Installation Work Expected through December 2017
(New Castle, DE) Today, Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) officials announced the award of a contract to preserve and protect its principal asset, the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Under the new contract, the DRBA will install a dehumidification system for the main suspension cables on both structures of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. The work is expected to begin at the end of February, 2016 and continue for nearly two years.
The Delaware Memorial Bridge is a major transportation link in the north-south corridor between Washington, D.C. and New York City that handles more than 34 million vehicles annually. The Delaware Memorial Bridges main suspension cables are original to each bridge. The New Jersey bound span opened in 1951 while the Delaware bound one was completed in 1968.
According to Shoukry Elnahal, Chief Engineer for the DRBA, the new dehumidification system is part of the Authority’s comprehensive capital program designed to preserve and protect the bi-state agency’s transportation infrastructure. “This state-of-the-art system will extend the life span of our main suspension cables that support the bridge deck of the Delaware Memorial Bridges,” Elnahal said. “The project involves the fitting of air tight wraps around the main cables, positioning injection and exhaust ports, and installing advanced dehumidification plants inside the anchorages of the two bridges.”
Elnahal also noted that the system will be equipped with remote sensors and advanced monitoring systems to insure it is functioning as intended. “The new dehumidification system is designed to operate as efficiently as possible while keeping the Authority’s long term maintenance requirements to a minimum,” he added.
During the execution of this contract, multiple lanes on the northbound and the southbound bridges will be closed periodically. While DRBA engineers have designed the project to minimize traffic delays to the extent possible, motorists should expect to experience them from time-to-time.
The safety of the traveling public, highway contractors on-site, and DRBA employees continue to be the highest priority. Commuters and travelers are urged to be careful and stay alert in and around construction zones, obey all detours and posted speed limits and plan to take a few extra minutes during rush hour periods.
Approximately 25 suspension bridges in the world are equipped with a cable dehumidification system. In 1998, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Japan was the first to be equipped with such a system. The Maryland Transportation Authority began installing the first cable dehumidification system in the United States for the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial (Bay) Bridge in 2012. That system was completed last year. The Delaware Memorial Bridge Twin Span will be the second such application in the United States.
American Bridge Company of Coraopolis, Pennsylvania will handle the construction and installation work at a cost of $33.6 million. Formed in 1900, American Bridge Company is a leading provider of bridge construction services worldwide. The company excels at the construction and rehabilitation of cable supported bridges, movable bridges, steel truss bridges, steel and concrete arch bridges, and other complex civil infrastructure projects that benefit from advanced construction engineering skills.
About the Delaware River and Bay Authority
The DRBA, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962, owns and operates the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Cape May- Lewes Ferry, and the Forts Ferry Crossing. The DRBA also manages corporate and aviation properties through its economic development powers - two airports in New Jersey (Millville Airport and Cape May Airport) and three in Delaware (New Castle Airport, Civil Air Terminal and Delaware Airpark). All DRBA operating revenues are generated through the bridge, ferry and airport facilities. For more information, visit www.drba.net.
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