WILMINGTON, Del. – Engineers say subsurface ground movement appears to have caused supporting columns on an Interstate 495 bridge in Delaware to tilt, forcing the indefinite closure of the highway that is a major East Coast artery.
Officials said Tuesday they believe the bridge over the Christina River is stable enough to support itself, but that re-opening it to traffic could overload the structure.
Four pairs of 50-foot columns have been found to be tilting, with the top of one column roughly two feet out of line with the bottom. Cars are being diverted onto the already busy I-95 causing even more traffic.
Engineers are conducting tests to determine the exact cause of the problem. No exact timetable for the bridge to reopen has been determined.