- Associated Press - Thursday, July 24, 2014

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The Delaware Department of Transportation says it’s preparing for a jacking operation that it calls a critical phase of repairing the damaged Interstate 495 bridge

The agency says engineers and a contractor are working this week on a jacking system to enable crews to build eight temporary towers beneath the southbound bridge deck.

Meanwhile, crews are strengthening the jacking towers by tethering them to anchor points with steel cables.

The agency says the jacks will then be put in place to begin the slow, exacting process of realigning the bridge deck.

The bridge carried about 90,000 vehicles daily before it was closed June 2 after officials learned several columns were tilting. Officials have said they hope to reopen a portion of the bridge before Labor Day.

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