Federal, State, and Local Officials Break Ground Today for the Construction of a New Bridge over the Christina River

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki joined Governor Carney, Senator Tom Carper and other officials this afternoon for a groundbreaking ceremony for a new bridge that will become an important gateway to and from Wilmington’s Riverfront District. The Delaware Department of Transportation has issued the following news release about today’s ceremony. The Mayor is pleased to share this information with the citizens of Wilmington.

Federal, State, and Local Officials Break Ground Today for the Construction of a New Bridge over the Christina River

Wilmington: Governor John Carney, U.S. Senator Thomas Carper, Transportation Secretary Jennifer Cohan, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki, and a host of other dignitaries and local officials were at a groundbreaking ceremony this afternoon to kick-off the construction of a new multi-modal bridge over the Christina River at the Wilmington Riverfront.

“The construction of the Christina River Bridge will help continue the redevelopment of the Wilmington Riverfront,” said Governor 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.”
“Governor Carney and DelDOT are committed to ensuring Wilmington has state-of-the-art infrastructure, and partnering with the city on projects such as the new Christina River Bridge will help us accomplish that goal,” said Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan.

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. Senator 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.”
U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester said, “The groundbreaking of the Christina River Bridge is a truly important milestone for the City of Wilmington and the Riverfront, and will provide a much needed link across the Christina River. Modernizing infrastructure will not only raise the quality of life for residents and visitors, but it will also help drive economic growth for the state as a whole. I look forward to seeing the vibrancy this brings to our city, and I thank my colleagues for their work to secure the federal dollars that are going into this project.”
“Connecting neighborhoods in Wilmington will make our city stronger and bridge social and economic divisions,” said U.S. Senator Christopher Coons. “This will help people drive, bike and walk across the river, and also will serve as an important reminder that investing in infrastructure is always a good idea. It’s my hope that leadership in Congress and the White House come together to finally invest in the nation’s infrastructure we deserve and to create the jobs we need.”

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 cleanup 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 economic development, improving the environment, and creating jobs for Delaware.”
“The bridge will be a critical connection between the west side or developed side of the riverfront and the south eastern 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’ 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.
The contractor, Richard E. Pierson Construction of Woodstown, New Jersey was awarded a bid of $28,386,108.35, the lower of two bids received. This project is anticipated to be complete by Summer 2019.

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

For further project information, visit DelDOT online at http://www.deldot.gov/information/projects/crb/index.shtml

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