by Terry Rogers
On Monday, March 2, DelDOT announced that the Milford bypass, located at Route 1 and Route 113 will close for necessary repairs. The closure will take place starting Friday, April 17 at 9 AM and DelDOT hopes to have it reopened by Monday, April 20.
“The problems we have to fix are not too in-depth,” Tom Collins, Project Manager for DelDOT Central Design, said. “Some of this is simply a shoulder closure that does not impact the overpass. While it is closed, we will be repairing two joints, working on a spot under the bridge that needs concrete, repairing cracks and making some other repairs. When we are done, we will seal the entire deck which must be completely dry before we reopen the bridge.”
Collins explained that because the closure would take place during spring break, this should not inconvenience buses since students would not be in school. They hope to have the bridge reopened by Sunday evening but if they run into any issues, they have authorized closure until Monday morning. Detours will be posted on the DelDOT website and provided to local law enforcement. Signage will be in place with detour information as well.
Chief Kenneth Brown asked if signals could be adjusted throughout town to avoid backups on detour routes such as Front Street and 10th Street. He also asked if there could be additional barricades placed near the overpass.
“Last time, we had cars who would ride right up to the closed overpass,” Chief Brown said. “Because there were no barricades, a lot of them would actually turn and go the wrong way on the off ramp to get to southbound Route 1. I know I chased a few who did that myself. What we need are additional barricades right at Frontage Road and at the crossovers to keep people from doing that.”
According to Collins, because the new hospital is now open on Route 30, there is no concern about emergency vehicles having difficulty getting to the Clarke Avenue location as there was the last time the overpass had to be closed. Emergency vehicles coming southbound can simply take the hospital exit from Route 1 with no need to use the older overpass.
Collins indicated that message boards will be placed ten days prior to the overpass closure as a warning to motorists.