Motorists who travel the Route 113 corridor in Millsboro are quick to complain about traffic and delays most of the day, and especially around the peak afternoon drive time.
Now, they will have even more to fuss about. An upcoming $1.2 million Delaware Department of Transportation project to replace the Iron Hill Branch bridge will require closing of both southbound lanes for two weeks from Sunday, Nov. 3, to Sunday, Nov. 17, depending on weather.
In addition, contractor Mumford and Miller will have temporary single-lane closures as they prepare for construction starting Monday, Oct. 14, until Nov. 3, and possibly additional lane closures for one week following the bridge replacement. The contractor has 40 days to finish the project.
The bridge is less than a mile from the Route 24-Route 113 intersection.
George Pierce, DelDOT area engineer, said the contractor is on a strict deadline to get the project done as quickly as possible. Built into the contract is a $12,000 a day penalty for every day the project goes beyond deadline. Pierce said the contractor could receive the same amount per day as a bonus for completing the project ahead of schedule. Work will take place 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Pierce said motorists are urged to avoid the area as much as possible and use alternative routes. The average daily traffic count on Route 113 near the bridge is nearly 31,000 vehicles.
Separate detour routes for trucks and all other vehicles will be in place starting Nov. 3. The 11-mile detour for trucks heading southbound on Route 113 will go from Route 24 to Nine Foot Road and back to Route 113 at the Clayton Street intersection.
Vehicles other than trucks will have a 2-mile detour from Radish Road, left onto Hickory Hill Road, left onto Handy Road and back to the Route 113-Dagsboro Road intersection. Pierce said two detour routes are required because Radish Road is not rated for heavy truck traffic.
During the first week of the project, the contractor will repave a section of Radish Road to prepare for increased traffic.
Pierce said a typical project of this type would take about eight months. “Because businesses will be impacted and it will be a big headache for motorists, we are pushing to get the big impact over in two weeks. We want to impact the businesses the least amount of time as possible,” he said.
More than 1,000 brochures were handed out to area businesses and residences to provide information about the project, said Jonathan Karam, project engineer.
The culvert bridge on the southbound lanes near AutoZone Auto Parts was built in 1912 and has significant steel beam corrosion, Pierce said. The culvert bridge on the northbound lanes was built in 1965 and is in great condition, Karam said.
Pierce said Millsboro police officers will assist with traffic control during peak morning and evening travel times from 6 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 7 p.m. He said the contractor is prepared to extend police traffic control time if required.
For detour routes and more information, go to:
Week of Monday, Oct. 14: Daytime lane and shoulder closures on Radish Road for milling and paving. Shoulder closures on Route 113 southbound for preparation work on the bridge.
Weeks of Monday, Oct. 21, and Monday, Oct. 28: Daytime lane closures on Route 113 southbound for drainage work.
Sunday, Nov. 3, through Sunday, Nov. 17: Closure of both lanes of Route 113 southbound for replacement of the existing Iron Branch bridge.
Week of Nov. 17: Daytime lane closures on Route 113 southbound to finish construction.