The northbound lanes of I-495 through Wilmington have been reopened following the successful realignment of the bridge spanning the Christina River.
The southbound lanes were reopened July 31. This means traffic is now fully restored to the bridge in both directions.
The full reopening of the bridge is occurring earlier than anticipated due to significant time savings achieved during the work to construct new underground support columns, according to the Delaware DOT. It said the process to jack the southbound and northbound sides of the bridge back into alignment also went smoothly. Both operations could have taken substantially more time if problems had been encountered.
"Fully reopening this vital economic link in Delaware and along the northeast in less than three months is a testament to the hard work and dedication of so many individuals," said Gov. Jack Markell.
I-495 has been closed to traffic since June 2 when the interstate, which parallels I-95 and serves as a bypass through Wilmington, was shut down due to an unsafe bridge condition in both directions of travel. The 4,800 foot bridge normally carries approximately 90,000 vehicles per day
"Although the permanent repairs to the bridge are still underway, we are all pleased to be able to restore traffic for the tens of thousands of motorists who use this highway every day," Delaware DOT Secretary Shailen Bhatt said.