The southbound lanes of I-495 through Wilmington are open a month ahead of schedule following the successful realignment of the southbound lanes of the I-495 bridge spanning the Christina River, Delaware Secretary of Transportation Shailen Bhatt announced.
The northbound lanes of I-495 are expected to re-open by Labor Day, September 1, Bhatt said. Project planners had initially said the southbound lanes would be closed to traffic until the Labor Day holiday weekend, and the northbound lanes would be open two weeks to one month later. Work to bore and construct new underground support columns moved more rapidly than anticipated and the process to jack the bridge into alignment took approximately three days to complete. Both operations could have taken substantially more time if problems had been encountered.
I-495 has been closed to traffic since June 2 when the interstate, which parallels I-95 and serves as a bypass through Wilmington, was shut down due to an unsafe bridge condition in both directions of travel. The 4,800 foot bridge normally carries approximately 90,000 vehicles per day.