After months of planning and another couple months of re-planning, the Lewes swing bridge is finally out.
DelDOT was forced to re-plan the removal of the bridge to its new memorial site about a thousand feet down a nearby bike path in December, when the crane brought in wasn’t enough to lift the heavier than estimated bridge. After careful planning and a crane big enough to lift the estimated 30% heavier bridge, crews were finally able to lift it out of its spot just after 9:00 a.m. this morning.
DelDOT says a portion of Gills Neck Road between Schley Avenue and Black Marlin Drive will be closed until 8:00 pm on Wednesday, February 16. A portion of the Junction Breakwater Trail between American Legion Road and Freeman Memorial Highway will also be closed until 8:00 pm on Friday, February 18, 2022, during the removal process.
The $2.2 million decision to move the bridge, which has been a Lewes fixture since the early 1900s, was a project by the Lewes Junction Railroad & Bridge Association and approved by the City of Lewes and DelDOT. Board member Dr. Gary Wray told TV Delmarva in December that it was the rare time all three entities were immediately receptive to saving a piece of history. In addition, moving the bridge to its memorial location was cheaper than demolishing it.