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Indian River Inlet Bridge

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2003–2011 est., Figg Engineering Group and others. DE 1 across the inlet

Historically, the tidal inlet through barrier dunes shifted frequently and sometimes closed altogether, as in the 1920s. During the subsequent decade it was reopened, bridged for the first time, then greatly widened by the federal government. In the early-twenty-first century, it was determined that the bridge of 1965 needed replacing, as swift currents had eroded the soil surrounding the support pilings. An initial design for the new bridge was unveiled in 2003, following considerable public input. It promised to be dramatic: a 1,000-foot span supported by a single, bowlike concrete arch from which stainless-steel cables descended in a single plane of radial stays. With this scheme, the engineering firm that had also built the DE 1 Bridge (PR13) intended to open a new era in the design of cable-stay bridges nationwide. Soaring project costs subsequently caused construction of the bridge to be delayed for redesign.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "Indian River Inlet Bridge", [Bethany Beach, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 281-281.

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