The new Bridge over Indian River Inlet…

…in southern Delaware is almost open. We drove across it last week after leaving the Commercial Fisherman’s Expo in Ocean City, and went north to Lewes, DE, to say hi to my folks. This bridge has been under construction for a couple of years, and it’s pretty remarkable.

The old bridge was falling apart. I’m not kidding. I recall reading that one of the underwater bridge surveyors was able to swim underneath one of the piers holding up the bridge.

What?

YES. He swam between the part of the bridge that was sunk into the bottom of the inlet, and the pier holding up the bridge. Given that millions of people visit the Delaware and Maryland seashores each summer, I guess those new bridge tax dollars were freed up pretty quickly after that discovery. Whoa.

The new bridge doesn’t have any structural elements going into the water at all, it’s purely a suspension bridge. Pretty cool. Good thing, because if you look at a map of this area, you see how small the inlet is in comparison to all the water around it. The tide pours in and out of that tiny inlet twice a day. If you stand there, watching the fishermen on the jetty, you see how serious that water is. Heading out in a small boat to the ocean through this inlet is SCA-RY! Here’s a map, so you can see.

And finally, a view going over the bridge. The beaches up ahead are just part of Delaware’s natural seashores. Did you know that Delaware has protected 17 miles of its shoreline from development? Pretty impressive. These beaches are accessible if you’re surf fishing, or walking, but you’ll find no gigantic mc-mansions along here. Thank you to whomever had the foresight years ago to protect these beaches! And if you want to see what it COULD look like, go south to Fenwick Island, or worse yet – Ocean City, Maryland. But that’s a topic for another day (hint = yuck).

~ by kbosin on January 19, 2012.

One Response to “The new Bridge over Indian River Inlet…”

  1. The last photo is so inviting. Even in the winter, the beach is alluring.

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