WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Joe Biden and Tom Carper, and Congressman Michael N. Castle today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a $3.47 million grant for renovations and planning of the Indian River Inlet Bridge in Sussex County, Delaware. "The Indian River Inlet is a critical link that serves the coastline population of both Delaware and Maryland. This federal funding commitment will help ensure the continued safety and viability of this important bridge span," said Castle. "And with the recently completed State Route 1, an improved Indian River Inlet Bridge will enhance the transportation interconnection of all three Delaware counties." "The renovations will help secure traffic along the peninsula for the various beach communities " something that's especially critical during the high-travel, summer season," said Carper. "Because the Indian River Inlet Bridge is located on a highly traveled stretch of State Route 1, we must ensure that passengers are safe and the structure is sound. Improvements to this bridge now will help ensure its long-term viability," Biden said. The $3.47 million in federal funding was provided in the Fiscal Year 2003 Transportation Appropriations bill at the request of the Delaware congressional delegation.