Work begins on pilings aimed at protecting road near Indian River bridge

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558316_596680173680250_616662626_n(From the Delaware Department of Transportation)

DelDOT  is shoring up roadways that could be vulnerable the next time a major storm or hurricane strikes the First State. The project was announced after Superstorm Sandy threatened the road. The bridge was never in danger. 

Dover-based contractor George & Lynch has begun to install sheet pilings along the Route 1 roadbed on the northbound approaches to the Indian River Inlet Bridge. A construction crane is placing large steel sheet pilings into the sand along an 800-foot section of Route 1, just north of the Indian River Inlet Bridge. The half inch thick steel sheeting is being driven roughly 40 feet into the sand and will help prevent future storm waters from undermining the highway’s foundation.

While the sheet pilings won’t prevent water and sand from washing atop the roadway during a storm, the barriers  will help prevent water from seeping under the roadway surface and compromising the road’s structural integrity,” said DelDOT Bridge Design Engineer Doug Robb.

Construction should be completed within the next few months. The new protective sheet pilings are part of DelDOT’s plan to stay proactive and to minimize the potential damage from future weather events.

“In recent years, this area has been hit hard by a series of nor’easters, tropical storms and hurricanes. The extent of the beach and dune erosion is unprecedented. After assessing the damage from our most recent storm (Hurricane Sandy), it was very apparent we would no longer wait to take action,” said Robb. “The long-term daily protection of the area depends on a sound dune system. Our hope is that once the beach has been re-established and the dune reconstructed, our steel sheet wall will remain buried. However, if needed, the steel pilings will provide an additional level of protection should we experience similar beach erosion in the future.”

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