The bridge over the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal reopened today after being closed since Sept. 10 for maintenance work.
South St. Georges and North St. Georges are once again connected, as the St. Georges Bridge reopened to traffic today on U.S. Route 13 after a four-and-a-half-month maintenance project.
The bridge, which is owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was closed since Sept. 10 while the Corps of Engineers' Philadelphia District and its contractor Freyssinet, Inc., made repairs to the structure over the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.
The work including replacing 45 floor beam covers, replacing more than 7,000 bolts and rivets on the underside of the structure, and replacing all deck joint strip seals, said Tim Boyle, public affairs spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
"The bridge was built in 1941, and we inspect it and periodically put out a contract for maintenance," said Boyle.
The bridge once had two lanes for northbound traffic and two lanes for southbound traffic, but now has one lane for traffic in each direction and a pedestrian/bike path.
Boyle said after the opening of Route 1 and the nearby Roth Bridge, traffic decreased on the St. Georges Bridge. The modification from four lanes for traffic to two happened in 2010.
The bridge is 4,209 feet long, with the main span of 540 feet across the canal. The height at center is 240 feet, with a ship clearance of 133 feet, Boyle said.
About 25 years ago, when the Roth Bridge and the new Route 1 were nearing completion, the Army Corps of Engineers planned to close the St. Georges Bridge, but protests by residents and legislators led to the bridge remaining open.