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Finally Smooth Sailing For Drivers Along I-495 North In Wilmington

Cars travel north on I-495. (credit: jim Melwert)

Cars travel north on I-495. (credit: jim Melwert)

Jim Melwert Jim Melwert
Jim is a general assignment reporter for KYW Newsradio 1060, bringing...
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By Jim Melwert

WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) — Commuters from Delaware were able to use I-495 North to get to work this morning for the first Monday in months.

The northbound lanes of the I-495 bridge over the Christina River were officially reopened on Saturday afternoon. That stretch of highway had been closed since the beginning of June after an inspection of the bridge showed four of the 37 support columns were tilted.

The closure caused significant headaches for the 90,000 drivers who take I-495 daily.

Mike Diacont lives in Middletown and works on the other side of Wilmington. He said he didn’t even bother trying to fight the traffic through Wilmington when the bridge closed.

“Whether it was 2 o’clock in the afternoon or 6 o’clock in the evening, disastrous,” Diacont said.

The southbound side of the bridge reopened at the end of July, but motorists traveling northbound had to continue to use alternate routes. Diacont said he was lucky enough to work from home, but is all smiles now that I-495 North is reopened.

“It’s great,” he said. “Kids go back to school today, I go back to work. It’s all good.”

The repairs to the bridge cost $45-million, all coming from the Federal Highway Administration’s emergency relief fund. The repairs were done to make the bridge safe for travel. Crews continue to work on permanent repairs on the tilted supports.

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