June 3, 2014 11:00 AM, EDT
I-495 Bridge in Delaware Closes After Failing Inspection

An Interstate 495 bridge in Wilmington, Delaware, has been closed indefinitely after inspectors discovered that four of the 37 support columns are tilted as much as 4% out of vertical alignment, the Delaware Department of Transportation said.

The I-495 bridge, which carries an estimated 90,000 vehicles a day, was closed at 6 p.m. on June 2 after the DOT received a report May 30 about an anomaly with a column.

“This will cause a significant impact to the traveling public, and we are coordinating with local, state, and federal partners to provide information as we receive it,” a Delaware DOT statement said. “Our bridge engineers and consultant are on the scene and are placing tilt sensors to monitor the bridge.”

DOT officials said I-495 will be closed northbound at Terminal Avenue, and message boards are in place on I-95 and state routes 1 and 13. Local northbound traffic can stay on I-495 to Terminal Avenue. I-495 southbound will be closed at the Pennsylvania state line. Southbound traffic will be directed to take I-95. (Click here for Delaware DOT traffic cameras.)

The bridge, which carries traffic over the Christina River in Wilmington,  is a concrete deck on steel beams, built in 1974. It was last inspected in October 2012. Bridges of this type are inspected every two years.

Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt and other leaders held a media briefing at 2 p.m. Click to the next page to watch video highlights of that briefing.

Delaware DOT provides the latest updates via its Twitter account, @DelawareDOT.