Landowners blamed for Del. bridge damage; fines could total millions
WILMINGTON, Del. — The owners of land in Delaware where a huge mound of dirt caused damage to an interstate highway bridge on a key East Coast artery have been served with violation notices by state environmental regulators.
The notices were the first effort by the state to recoup repair costs estimated at $45 million.
DuPont Co. and Wilmington-based Alma Properties LLC received nearly identical letters claiming numerous violations of state law or administrative code, The News Journal of Wilmington reported on Tuesday.
The letters from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control don't assign blame for the damage to the bridge, but they list violations that could lead to fines of as much as $2,000 a day. Depending on the duration of the violations, the fines could reach millions.
The bridge carries Interstate 495, an 11-mile bypass that helps alleviate congestion on Interstate 95. The bridge was closed in June because support columns were tilting. The southbound lanes were reopened on July 31, and the northbound lanes are expected to reopen by Labor Day.
A DuPont spokesman said in a statement on Monday that the company “strongly disagrees” with the enforcement action and that it never authorized the stockpiling of dirt beneath the bridge.
The dirt was stored there by a contractor, apparently without the knowledge or consent of state officials, and the weight of the 50,000-ton mound is believed to have caused underground soil to shift, damaging the structures that support the bridge columns.
DuPont had a lease agreement with another company allowing it to use the property. That company had a separate agreement with Keogh Contracting Company, which is controlled by the contractor who dumped the dirt.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Obama’s immigration actions neglect business pleas
- Boys in New York buried for hours in snow pile
- Texan who targeted Mexican consulate in Austin killed in shootout with police
- Sunlight reduces risk of nearsightedness in children, study suggests
- Homeless woman’s stun gun spurs 2nd Amendment case
- Ferguson-related unrest disrupts Black Friday shopping in several cities
- Fissures begin to emerge among Dems
- Maine State Prison draws Black Friday shoppers
- Bombers to train over Plains
- FBI uses journalists as bait for terrorists, escapee from Syrian group says
- Golfer who broke race barriers, Streep, Wonder among Medal of Freedom recipients