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DE Bridge to Receive New Ship Collision System

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

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In the largest Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development grant issued for an infrastructure project in Delaware, the Delaware River and Bay Authority will use the $22.25 million in funding toward enhancing the ship collision system on the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

The work is to include upgrading protective measures already in place, as well as building eight 80-foot-wide concrete caissons in order to keep vessels from striking the structures.

Ship Collision System Upgrades

The Delaware Memorial Bridge, a twin suspension bridge running across the Delaware River, connects Delaware and New Jersey. One span was opened to traffic in 1951; the other was dedicated in 1968. In December 2017, operators of the Delaware Memorial Bridge installed a $35 million dehumidification system. The technology was designed to both protect the bridge and prevent cable failure.

According to Delaware First Media, the project is slated to cost $45 to $46 million, with the rest of the funding coming from tolls.

DRBA spokesperson Jim Salmon noted that the Authority had been seeking funding for the project for roughly 25 years, adding that the bridge tower pier protection system currently in place is “original to each of the spans.” Contemporary tanks and ships are faster and larger than their 1950s and ’60s counterparts.

Ultima_Gaina / Getty Images

In the largest Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development grant issued for an infrastructure project in Delaware, the Delaware River and Bay Authority will use the $22.25 million in funding toward enhancing the ship collision system on the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., noted that the project was a good use of tax dollars, if it helps prevent the bridge from shutting down. She also added that the last time a boat collided with the bridge, in 1969, it had a significant economic impact.

“The Delaware Memorial Bridge doesn’t just connect the some 9.8 million people living in Delaware and New Jersey—it is a critical piece of infrastructure that facilitates the flow of commerce on both land and water right in the center of one of the most heavily populated regions of our country," said Senator Tom Carper, D-Del., on the Environment and Public Works Committee.

"Addressing structural risks on the Memorial Bridge will improve maritime and travel safety on the Northeast I-95 corridor, boost American competitiveness in the global marketplace, and create jobs here at home. I believe that a strong national infrastructure is essential to economic growth, which is why I’ll continue looking for ways in Congress to support more projects like this for our state.”

Construction is set to begin in 2020, and is slated for completion in 2023. Salmon also noted that no traffic interruptions are expected. Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the Notice of Funding Opportunity for the next available round of BUILD grants, which total $900 million.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Tanks and vessels

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