Letter: Route 113 project in Millsboro a success

Editor:

Transportation projects are often sources of frustration for motorists and normally only get noticed if something goes wrong, but a recently completed bridge project in Millsboro deserves acknowledgement for its success.

On Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, DelDOT’s contractor Mumford & Miller Concrete closed the southbound direction of U.S. 113 to replace a century-old short-span bridge within a two-week timeframe. By the afternoon of Nov. 12, Mumford & Miller had reopened the southbound lanes of U.S. 113, five days earlier than anticipated.

Given some of the challenges, this was an incredible achievement, and I want to take the opportunity to acknowledge those that played a role in its success.

DelDOT’s Contractor, Mumford & Miller Concrete, came into the project with an excellent game plan, worked 24 hours per day, and partnered with DelDOT to quickly address any issues that arose in the field.

DelDOT’s Bridge Design Group prepared the design and performed the extensive coordination effort leading up to construction. DelDOT’s Construction Group also worked 24/7 with the contractor to execute the work and ensure a high-quality product.

These groups were all focused on getting the bridge replaced as efficiently as possible to minimize the impact to the public and each group deserves recognition for their efforts.

I also want to thank the local officials, businesses and residents of the town of Millsboro. The project required traffic officers at two intersections during morning and afternoon rush hours, and Chief Calloway and his team stepped up by providing officers to help keep traffic moving during those peak hours. The residents, businesses and elected officials all kept an open mind when we presented the plan to close U.S. 113, understanding that two weeks of closure impacts would be better than months and months of work zones, closed cross-overs and traffic impacts.

Thank you to all for your patience and willingness to work with us on this project. On a personal note, I am proud to be a part of such a successful project in the community where I grew up and still reside with my family.

DelDOT maintains a customer service-oriented focus by trying to limit our impacts on the travelling public. Our Bridge Section has an Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) program, where we utilize prefabricated elements and extensive planning to reduce the overall construction time experienced by the travelling public.

Although the construction costs are generally higher for these projects, the savings to the local economy generally outweighs these costs. In addition, reducing construction durations improves safety by keeping contractors and drivers in a work zone for shorter times.

We have successfully completed many ABC projects, including a full deck replacement on I-95 in 32 working days and an all precast-concrete bridge in less than 30 days. We also have an ongoing project to replace the decks of both bridges on SR1 over the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal in the offseason, which is currently ahead of schedule for a schedule that many deemed impossible.

I am proud to say that DelDOT is among the national leaders in implementing ABC techniques, and I hope that the success of the US113 bridge project is encouraging to those concerned about transportation projects.

Jason Hastings, Chief of Bridges & Structures
Delaware Department of Transportation