Official: Del. should have closed bridge sooner

File photo of vehicles driving down the New Jersey Turnpike in Elizabeth, New Jersey. (Mario Tama, Getty Images)
File photo of vehicles driving down the New Jersey Turnpike in Elizabeth, New Jersey. (Mario Tama, Getty Images)
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Updated: 7/03 11:09 am

Delaware's transportation secretary says the state should have closed a damaged interstate bridge earlier, saying it missed opportunities when it didn't respond quickly with qualified personnel to tips about the bridge's deterioration.

Shailen Bhatt said Thursday that officials have documented a series of missteps leading up to the June 2 emergency closure of the Interstate 495 bridge in Wilmington.

Bhatt also disclosed his agency received a second 911 call in late May from a motorist about the bridge over the Christina River. That call followed a 911 call from a driver in April and an engineer's emailed warning in May that bridge columns appeared to be tilting.

Bhatt says his department has implemented new procedures for officials to respond to calls or complaints regarding the conditions of high-priority roads.

 

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