The oldest bridge that spans the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, the dated St. Georges Bridge, won't be open to multi-modal traffic at the end of 2018.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Philadelphia District made the announcement of the planned closure on February 23, 2018, citing needed repairs of steel beams on the single arch overpass.
The tied arch bridge--constructed in 1941, eight years before its steel-through-arch near-twin in Chesapeake City, Maryland--is expected to be closed beginning September 10, 2018, lasting through January 2019.
As a result of the full closure, motorists will be detoured to the Senator William V. Roth Bridge on SR-1. This traffic alternative is located near the northern terminus for the U.S. 301 Mainline, a 14-mile toll road presently being constructed between Warwick, Maryland, and St. Georges, Delaware.
One of the Mainline's most notable features is that of a flyover bridge, which will cast its shadow on the Biddles Corner Toll Plaza where U.S. 301 connects with SR-1. With construction of that viaduct not expected to complete until sometime near the end of 2018, motorists detoured from the U.S Route 13 closure on the St. Georges Bridge, will be forced into that ongoing construction. Coupled with typically healthy volumes on northbound SR-1, the delays caused by the planned detour will be worth monitoring.
The Army Corps awarded the $3.7 million contract earlier this month to Freyssinet USA, located in Sterling, Virginia. However, since the planning phases have yet to begin, the Army Corps and its contractor did not offer any specifics on the full scope of work and its related impacts.
The St. Georges Bridge pre-dated the Chesapeake City Bridge (1949), Summit Bridge (1961), Reedy Point Bridge (1968), and the Roth Bridge (1995), and was reduced from four lanes to two lanes in 2008, with related load restrictions, in response to the deteriorating condition of the structure. The outside lanes of the bridge were then converted to bicycle lanes in 2010.