Times Change, People Change, but Bridges are Forever … That is, if They’re Maintained Properly
A year-long project to refurbish the Al O. Plant Bridge is nearing completion; public officials and the motoring and walking public celebrate!
Reconstruction work, authorized by the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), is nearing completion on the Northeast Boulevard Bridge, (originally the Church Street Bridge) which many years ago was renamed to honor former State Representative Al O. Plant Sr. City and State officials recently joined with representatives of Eastern Highway Specialists, the bridge contractors, to celebrate the work that is extending the life of the historic span.
The Al O. Plant Bridge, just off 12th Street over the Brandywine River, is a key connector along the eastside of Wilmington and is a direct connector from I-495 to downtown Wilmington and local neighborhoods. The bridge, which was built in 1932, needed major structural repairs as well as an upgrade to the intersections on either side of the bridge.
DelDOT contracted with local Wilmington-based contractor Eastern Highway Specialists, Inc., to perform the bridge repairs, which involved replacing six structural beams that are part of the undercarriage of the span. The $2.5 million project was started in January of 2019 and is expected to be completed in March. The project was originally expected to be completed in November of 2019, but additional needed repairs became evident as parts of the bridge were dismantled. The State was able to open the span partially to vehicular and pedestrian traffic last November and now the bridge is completely open to traffic.
Attached above as part of this celebratory news release is a photograph on the left from 1932, courtesy of the Delaware Historical Society, as City officials at the time accepted the completed bridge from the State. Next to that image is a recent photo of current City officials celebrating with State officials and Eastern Highway Specialists staff who worked on the project. Enjoy the history and now, please, enjoy the new refurbished bridge which remains part of Wilmington’s history!