The Bridge Preservation Program is a program to manage the capital improvements required to maintain the existing bridge infrastructure in the State of Delaware. The program focuses on the development of contracts to rehabilitate or replace existing bridges in need of work due to condition.
Federal regulations define a bridge as a structure longer than 20 feet measured parallel to the facility being carried. State regulations define a bridge as a structure carrying a roadway or multi-modal facility with an opening greater than 20 square feet. A bridge can span over a roadway, multi-modal facility, railroad, waterway, or a utility corridor, regardless of whether it meets the federal or state definition.
DelDOT owns and maintains over 1600 bridges on Delaware roadways or multi-modal facilities, over 800 of which meet the federal definition. If a bridge meets the federal definition, it is eligible to use federal funds when performing construction activities.
DelDOT's Bridge Management Section inspects every bridge at least once every 2 years and compiles a list of bridges that require some type of work. Some of the work activities can be handled by DelDOT's Division of Maintenance and/or their on-call contractors. These types of activities are generally preventative maintenance or minor repair activities that enable the life of the bridge to be extended.
Sometimes a bridge has reached a condition where major repairs need to occur or the condition and age of the bridge make it more cost effective to replace the bridge with a new one. These types of projects are considered capital projects and are the focus of the Bridge Preservation Program. The Bridge Preservation Program is managed by DelDOT's Bridge Design Section.