Carper, Blunt Rochester Tour Delaware Memorial Bridge to Highlight Federal Funding for Safety Improvements

NEW CASTLE, Del. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper and U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (both D-Del.) went below the deck of the Delaware Memorial Bridge and walked the steel catwalk to view where ship collisions prevention improvements will be made.

In December, Delaware’s Congressional Delegation of Sens. Carper, Chris Coons and Rep. Blunt Rochester announced a $22.25 million Department of Transportation (DOT) Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant to Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) for improvements to the Delaware Memorial Bridge. BUILD, previously known as the TIGER grant program, provides multimodal capital grants to critical infrastructure projects. The grant, which is the largest BUILD or TIGER grant ever awarded to Delaware, will be used to install 80-foot diameter sheet pile cells at the bases of the Delaware Memorial Bridges to better protect the structural integrity of the bridges in the event of a ship collision.

“The Delaware Memorial Bridge doesn’t just connect the some 9.8 million people living in Delaware and New Jersey – it is a critical piece of infrastructure that facilitates the flow of commerce on both land and water right in the center of one of the most heavily populated regions of our country. Addressing structural risks on the Memorial Bridge will improve maritime and travel safety on the Northeast I-95 corridor, boost American competitiveness in the global marketplace, and create jobs here at home,” said Senator Carper, top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee. “I believe that a strong national infrastructure is essential to economic growth, which is why I’ll continue looking for ways in Congress to support more projects like this for our state.” 

“We know well the importance of the Delaware Memorial Bridge to the First State and interstate commerce along the I-95 corridor. Making proactive investments in critical infrastructure across the country is key to long-term safety and sustainability,” said Congresswoman Blunt Rochester. “I was proud to join our state’s delegation in announcing this record 22-million-dollar grant because it will reinforce the structural integrity of one of America’s most well-traveled bridges. This project will create jobs in Delaware and improve travel safety for years to come, and I look forward to its completion.”

“On behalf of the DRBA Commissioners and staff, we would like to thank the Delaware Congressional delegation for their combined efforts to secure this vital funding to build a modern, technologically advanced ship collision protection system for the Delaware Memorial Bridge Twin Span,” said DRBA Executive Director Tom Cook.  “The current bridge tower pier protection systems are original to each span and today’s tankers and ships are bigger and faster than those of the 1950s and 1960s.  It’s imperative that we make prudent, necessary infrastructure investments to this essential I-95 transportation link.”