Washington St. Bridge Replacement Begins June 1

By Matt Short

The Delaware Dept. of Transportation (DelDOT) is in the planning stages of rehabilitating the Washington Street Bridge in downtown Milford. Located between Park Place Restaurant and the offices of Downtwn Milford Inc. and the Greater Milford Chamber of Commerce, the bridge will cause some major changes in downtown traffic patterns.

The Washington Street Bridge was constructed in May of 1933. Due to congestion, the City of Milford petitioned the United States War Department for permission to construct a second bridge across the Mispillion River. The bridge was constructed by Capt. Herman D. Johnson, taking 90 days to complete the project. The bridge was opened in January 1934 for a total cost of $9,773.

The structure is a multi-girder steel bridge, which consists of a series of parallel steel beams designed to support a road deck and resist the weight of traveling vehicles. In 2009, a routine inspection by (DelDOT), determined the bridge to be structurally deficient.

“Over the course of time, the existing beams have experienced corrosion as well as some section loss,” said Mark Mallamo, City of Milford Engineer. “Although the bridge is safe to carry traffic, the beams have reached a point in which the structure must be replaced.”

Construction is scheduled to begin on June 1 and will take about 75 days to complete. Funding for the complete reconstruction will be provided by the Federal Government and by City sources. DelDot is preparing to replace the concrete deck and the steel beam with new ones. In addition, there will be a reconstruction of the roadway and a riprap will be set in place in order to prevent scour or streambed erosion.

Detours will be set in place during the construction. Motorists approaching from the south will have to make a left turn onto S.E. Front St. followed by a right turn onto Walnut St. and then a left turn onto N.E. Front St. During the project, local access will be maintained if needed, on both sides of the bridge for residents use.

“We’re going to maintain access to the businesses in the area,” stated Mallamo.

Due to the number of residents and the length of the detour, a pedestrian detour has been proposed during the construction. Pedestrians will have to use the sidewalks on S.E. Front St, and then make a left onto Walnut St, followed by a right turn onto Park Ave. Construction is expected to be completed by Aug. 14. For more information on the rehabilitation of the Washington Street Bridge visit www.deldot.gov

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