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Large boats must find detour around Mispillion River bridge

Terry Rogers Government, Headlines, Traffic

by Terry Rogers



a sign hanging off the side of a building

Although safe for vehicle traffic, an accident has damaged mechanisms that will allow the Mispillion River Bridge to open, forcing larger boats to detour around the area.

On December 28, a dump truck pulling an excavator on a flatbed truck struck the overhead portion of the Mispillion drawbridge causing significant damage to the machinery, support members and some of the mechanical components. As a result, the bridge cannot be lifted to allow larger boats to travel under the bridge.

“However, the vehicular load carrying capacity was not impacted so it is safe for vehicles to cross,” Jason Hastings, M.C.E., P.E., Chief of Bridges and Structures for DelDOT, said. “The repairs will take a while to plan due to the complexity of the damage. Once repairs begin, they will take multiple months, again due to the complexity.”

Hastings stated that while repairs are completed, boats requiring the bridge to be open will be unable to pass. Any boat who would normally travel under the bridge will need to take an alternate route.

“We are working with our legal team to recover damages from the truck who damaged the bridge,” Hastings said.

The Mispillion River drawbridge was built in 1929 and rehabilitated in 1952. Approximately 10,000 cars drive over the bridge each day.

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