The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) announced earlier this week that soutbound traffic on Route 1 would be routed onto the new Indian River Inlet Bridge on Friday, Jan. 20. Officials said northbound traffic would be moved on to the new bridge shortly thereafter, creating one lane of traffic in each direction for the remainder of winter into spring.
The hope is that contractor George & Lynch will be able to complete the roadway approaches on the remaining two laned on the norhbound side of the bridge in preparation for a spring 2012 opening and dedication for all four lanes, the pedestrian path and bikeway this spring.
This is great news on so many levels.
For starters, it marks the near-end of a project that has gone on seemingly forever — marred by hiccups ranging from bidding problems to weather snags, and many points in between. For another, this gives promise that the bridge will be fully-operational by the next busy-season in the area, easing traffic patterns between our little slice of Heaven and the Rehoboth-Dewey-Lewes area.
The project has created a few headaches along the way — for DelDOT officials, locals and vacationers, alike. There has been a trail of confusion left in its wake over when the project would be done, when the bridge would be closed to traffic and when there would be more than one lane open at once. It was a major project undertaken during a time of economic turmoil and uncertainty, with different leaders in both the governor’s office and DelDOT hierarchy, and it showed.
But there’s now light at the end of the ... well, bridge.
Monday marks the day to celebrate the birth of Martin Luther King Jr., the famed clergyman, activist and a leader of the Civil Rights Movement, who was assasinated in 1968.
King was a voice of calm and reason during a tumultuous period of this nation’s history. He preached peace, tolerance and equality, and ignited passion from followers of all races. He was not limited by racial issues, either, as he focused many of his efforts on ending poverty and protesting America’s involvement in the Vietnam conflict.
Agree with his politics or not, it’s hard to argue the imprint he left on the world, or the way in which he went about trying to create change. Take a moment this weekend to remember him, and the spirit of his message.