REHOBOTH BEACH, Del.- Deldot has entered the next big phase of its project to restore and rehabilitate the bridge over the Lewes-Rehoboth canal. 
 
Crews started work on the bridge over the Lewes-Rehoboth canal back in the fall. Today they started work on the southbound lanes, switching over the traffic pattern. And there are still two lanes traveling southbound and one lane traveling northbound, but this had an impact on local businesses on the forgotten mile.

Crews switched work from the Northbound lanes, over to the Southbound lane today as Deldot begins the next part of their project. While the project has been going on, there has been lane shifts and changes to the traffic patterns. This has an impact on the businesses along the route.

Dale Bellinger, the owner of Bellinger's Jewelry said, "A lot of it you gotta remember, a lot of it's going to Ocean City, Fenwick, Bethany, you know places further south and this is the route they normally take."
 
But another business next door is happy with the progress crews are making.

Tom Poor, owner of Bin 66 said, "Here it is, the beginning of January and they're halfway through, they flip flopped the bridge over to the other side, and now we're working on the other side for completion to possibly before memorial day which would be fantastic."

Construction will wrap up in the spring and the point of the project is to help rehab the bridge. This will hopefully protect it for an extended period of time so that in the near future they won't have to worry about any damages occurring.

George Pierce, the project manager with Deldot said, "What it does is it lets us take a bridge, this one is about 50 years old and get another 50 to 75 years out of it before we have to come in and fully replace it."

Deldot says they are about two weeks ahead of schedule. But Bellinger says winter hasn't hit full force yet.
 
"This season has been pretty mild I think, so its helped. Going forward you know winter's coming and that could all change," said Bellinger.
 
But Tom is still happy with the fast turn around with the project. 
 
"It was remarkably well orchestrated. The lanes then the way that they pass you through the bridge. There were back ups before the bridge construction that were much worse than with the bridge construction," said Poor. 
 
But Deldot says that more lane closures will be needed when the project gets closer to its end.
 
Pierce said, "And we also do have to come through and do some wrap up work here where we're going to have to shut down lanes to do paving. Unfortunately you can't leave everything free flowing then. So I would anticipate the biggest impacts to be occurring in the April time frame."

But for now, traffic seems to be flowing with no serious issues. Construction is set to be wrapped up in the spring time, just in time for the busiest part of the year for the Eastern Shore. Traffic patterns will reopen as normal when the construction and rehabilitation to the bridge is totally wrapped up.