(Video) Bridge project could be game changer in expanding benefits of riverfront

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(Video courtesy of WHYY Newsworks)

A ceremony was held to mark work on a new bridge on the Wilmington Riverfront.

The new 470-foot bridge over the Christina River will include two travel lanes and shoulders, as well as a bicycle/pedestrian path. The path will connect to the Riverfront walkway as well as other bicycle/pedestrian lanes etc. in the area.

The project extends from the area near Frawley Stadium across the Christina River to its east bank in the vicinity of Market Street/Walnut Street split of business Route 13.

The project also alleviates traffic congestion and improves circulation near Riverfront attractions and will aid in future development of the Riverfront and adjacent areas that still have a large number of brownfields from former industrial sites.

The contractor, Richard E. Pierson Construction of Woodstown, NJ, was awarded a bid of $28,386,108, the lower of two bids received. This project is anticipated to be completed by the summer 2019.

Bids have been fewer, especially in regard to complex projects, due to a large volume of construction work in the region and shortages of skilled tradespeople, due to a building boom in the Philadelphia area.

A separate contract for the roadway approaches to the bridge will begin in the spring. The roadway approaches will adjoin US 13, I-495, I-95 and streets to complete the network at the Riverfront. The project is scheduled to be finished by the spring of 2020.

“The construction of the Christina River Bridge will help continue the redevelopment of the Wilmington Riverfront,” said Gov. John Carney. “This is the kind of smart, infrastructure investment that will create jobs, and lead to real economic growth in our largest city. The Christina River Bridge will improve access to the attractions that already call the area home and encourage additional development on the south side of the river. Thank you to members of the General Assembly for supporting this investment.”

This bridge will open up the east bank of the Riverfront, beginning the next phase of development that will create economic opportunities while also improving access for drivers, bikers and pedestrians,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper. “Much of the federal portion of this project comes from an earmark. Some think of that as a bad word, but in this case, this isn’t a bridge to nowhere. This is a bridge to economic vitality and transportation improvements, and that is why I am thrilled to be here today to celebrate its groundbreaking.”

The location of the bridge lies within a brownfield – a contaminated site that must be remediated to bring the site back to productive use. The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) is overseeing the remediation under the state’s Hazardous Substance Cleanup Act, with $2.9 million in funding allocated for the project.

“Under DNREC’s Brownfields Program, the site is currently undergoing remediation to clean up decades of contamination that has impacted soils and groundwater,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “By cleaning up and redeveloping historic industrial and manufacturing sites like this, we’re providing for “Under DNREC’s Brownfields Program, the site is currently undergoing remediation to clean up decades of contamination that has impacted soils and groundwater,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “By cleaning up and redeveloping historic industrial and manufacturing sites like this, we’re providing for

“The bridge will be a critical connection between the west side or developed side of the riverfront and the southeastern section of Wilmington, which is one of the City’s last remaining larger areas of undeveloped land,” said Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. “We need these opportunities for development in Wilmington to ensure our future prosperity. The bridge will also relieve traffic congestion that has increased as the riverfront has grown and become a more popular place to live and enjoy life. Wilmington is grateful to the State for supporting our vision of growth.”

This is a new 470-foot multi-modal bridge over the Christina River that will include two (2-12’) travel lanes and shoulders, as well as a 14’ wide bicycle/pedestrian path. The path will connect to the Riverfront walkway as well as other bicycle/pedestrian facilities in the area. The project extends from the area near Frawley Stadium across the Christina River to its east bank in the vicinity of Market Street/Walnut Street split of Business US 13. The project also alleviates traffic congestion and improves circulation near Riverfront attractions. After the completion of construction, this project will also add economic development opportunities for Delaware.

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