DRBA Closes Freeman Highway at Night
Closure Related to Construction Activity; Expected to Continue Through June 25, 2010
(Lewes, DE) Today, Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) officials announced that Freeman Highway from Monroe Avenue intersection and the Cape Henlopen Drive intersection will be closed to all traffic from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., which will be effective immediately. In addition, the DRBA has more than doubled the police presence near the construction site. Two police units will now be stationed at the Freeman Highway Bridge Rehab - one to each side of the bridge next to traffic signal – from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, regardless of the contractor work schedule until work on the Freeman Highway and Bridge topside is completed.
According to Senior Project Engineer Joseph Volk, the Authority’s decision to close Freeman Highway at night was based on safety concerns. “When we design a construction project, the safety of the traveling public and on-site highway contractors is the agency’s highest priority,” Volk said. The DRBA police have noted a number of instances where motorists have disregarded the red traffic signal and some continue to travel on the bridge’s one lane at high speed. This situation significantly increases the likelihood of a head-on collision.
From 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., barricades with ‘Road Closed’ will be placed at both intersections and adjacent to the barrier wall on both ends of the bridge. The detour shall be Monroe Avenue/Kings Highway to Savannah Road to Cape Henlopen Drive. Detour signs will aid motorists with the alternate route.
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 rehabilitation of Freeman Highway Bridge began on March 8, 2010 and is expected to be completed on September 30, 2010. The first phase of the project, which relates to construction activity on the bridge deck, will be completed on or before June 25, 2010. Both lanes of the Freeman Highway Bridge will be open following the completion of this phase. The project work will be done by Mumford & Miller of Middletown, Delaware, at a cost of approximately $1.8 million.
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