by Terry Rogers
Recently, the Mispillion drawbridge has been raised more often than normal, often without boats passing by. According to Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), a contractor is performing scheduled maintenance and cleaning of the bridge which will lead to lane closures through the next week.
“DelDOT has a repair contract ongoing for three draw bridges in Sussex County, including Mispillion,” Louise Holt, Public Information Officer for DelDOT, said. “The contractor has been performing repairs and routine maintenance since May 2019 and will continue until May 2021. Some of the repairs require the drawbridge to be opened. The majority of the repairs do not. Most of the routine maintenance is being done without the drawbridge being opened.”
Holt stated that the bridge may be opened intermittently based on the repair item that the contractor is working on. There is no schedule for when the bridge will need to be opened.
“The bridge may be opened 10 times within one day and maybe no openings the rest of the week,” Holt said. “Our inspector is aware that bridge openings cause an inconvenience to motorists and pedestrians. We will continue to try to space out openings when we are able in order to minimize any inconvenience. There are no plans to close the bridge for extensive repairs as we did a few years ago.”
The Mispillion drawbridge is a landmark in Milford, built in 1929 by Keller & Harrington of Chicago, Illinois. The bridge was rehabilitated in 1952 and underwent major repairs just a few years ago. The bridge is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.