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Lewes Swing Bridge move in limbo

Lewes Swing Bridge Stays Put.jpg
Randy Voith
Lewes Swing Bridge stay put for now

The Lewes Swing Bridge is staying put -- for now.

Last week’s move was delayed.

The historic railroad swing bridge has called the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal home since 1916.

Last week, a contractor was scheduled to lift the bridge and place it about a quarter mile up the road for display, but that move was shelved at the last minute.

“They had a crane at the location that was to pick up the bridge and place it onto a truck that would take it to its new display site at the end of American Legion Road," said Randy Voith, president of the Lewes Junction Railroad and Bridge Association - the group trying to preserve the bridge by moving it. "Then, when they were able to get it (the bridge) disengaged and they got lift straps around the bridge, it turned out the bridge is heavier than had been calculated.”

Voith says the estimated weight was 70 tons. There’s no word yet on the actual weight.

“As they should have, they made the safe decision to stop work that night and go back and reassess," Voith said. "So there’s really two steps that have to happen. One is - get an accurate weight of the bridge, which they can do through jacks that have scales on them and also to come up with a plan for how to lift the weight that they determine the bridge is.”

Voith says DelDOT, the design consultant and the contractor, Richard E. Pierson Construction Company, are now re-evaluating how to move the bridge.

Once the bridge gets to its new destination, the site will feature interpretive areas detailing the historical significance of the railroad to the City of Lewes and throughout Eastern Sussex County.