[Update 2/10/08] Updated the name of the bridge. [/Update]
DelDOT is putting the new Indian River Bridge over out to bid. The current bridge is said to be in danger of failing between 2008 and 2012 according to the Army Corps of Engineers, seems to be related to scour. From what I hear, the tidal currents at that inlet being spanned over are tremendous, with water velocities on the order of 35 mph.
In 2005, Mactec, a geotechnical firm, provided a geotechnical report and associated recommendations to DelDOT for how to construct the 45-ft high approach embankments for a 1,400-ft long bridge in light of a 60-ft clay layer (sounds like pre-loading). However, the embankments are not settling as Mactec predicted (not sure if its more or less, probably less meaning slower) and are "shifting laterally" (squeezing?) so the DOT is going with a longer bridge to span the problem soil. More after the break.
TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Web-Only Document 177: Evaluation of Bridge Scour Research: Geomorphic Processes and Predictions explores the impact of long-term aggradation and degradation, and lateral river channel migration, on highway structures. […]