Work on canal may have to stop April 1

DelDOT contractor removing old sections of former railroad swing bridge
March 25, 2022

Story Location:
Gills Neck Road
Savannah Road
Lewes, DE 19958
United States

Work is underway to remove the leftover bridge structure from the banks of the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal at the former location of the Lewes railroad swing bridge. The historic structure was removed from the site Feb. 15 and relocated to a permanent historical display area at the end of American Legion Road.

Crews are currently removing the old abutment wall and pier foundation on the Gills Neck Road side of the canal. The channel will be restored to its original condition with the installation of riprap and topsoil to protect the bank.

The cofferdam sheet pilings will most likely not be removed by Friday, April 1, which is the deadline for the fisheries restriction, according to Charles “C.R.” McLeod, Delaware Department of Transportation director of community relations.

Work in Delaware waterways is restricted from April to October to reduce impact on the surrounding environment, including fish and wildlife.

“They will remain in place until we can work in the water again beginning Oct. 1, unless we receive a waiver from DNREC to proceed with the work,” McLeod said.

Work on the northeast side of the canal will include removal of the existing railroad bed, installation of a new bulkhead and repaving of a portion of the trail.

McLeod said at the bridge’s new home, the bearing assembly, ties and rails have been reinstalled on the bridge and the decorative fence is scheduled to be installed this spring.

The 103-year-old bridge, which was no longer used, was saved from being scrapped by the Lewes Junction Railroad and Bridge Association.


Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter