What to Know
- A DelDOT bridge reconstruction project has forced Elsmere, Delaware to cancel its annual Christmas parade.
- The bridge was deemed "structurally deficient," closing streets and blocking the traditional parade route.
- The bridge has been closed since March, and the contractor hopes to finalize construction early next year.
A structurally deficient bridge is the Grinch that's stealing one Delaware town's Christmas parade.
The Delaware News Journal reports that street closures associated with the $4.3 million bridge rehabilitation project left Elsmere's annual parade — a tradition more than 30 years old — without a path.
The 175-foot-long bridge required a full deck replacement and a comprehensive fix of both the steel superstructure and concrete substructure. And it shut down connecting streets that Elsmere's Christmas paraders, including dance groups, floats, and Santa, needed for the yearly event.
Parade Co-Chair Joe Leonetti says they looked at different locations that could hold participants, such as parking lots and side streets, but the seasonal shopping rendered alternatives unsafe and "a logistical nightmare."
The bridge has been closed to traffic since March 19, the News Journal reports.
Delaware Department of Transportation spokesman C.R. McLeod says that although the contractor hopes to reopen the 56-year-old bridge to traffic by year's end, construction is expected to continue into early 2019.