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Mountain of dirt suspected in bridge closure

6-4-14

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Officials say they believe a contractor is responsible for dumping a massive mound of dirt suspected of shifting the ground underneath an interstate highway bridge and forcing its closure.

Delaware officials are working with the contractor to remove the mountain of dirt, nearly the length of a football field, beside the Interstate 495 bridge in Wilmington.

Officials say they aren’t certain where the dirt came from but believe the contractor dumped it over a period of years. State officials gave one name for the contractor Tuesday but provided a new name Wednesday. The Associated Press hasn’t been able to verify who dumped the dirt.

Engineers suspect the dirt’s weight caused soils to shift, resulting in the tilting of several bridge columns.

The bridge is closed indefinitely until engineers figure out how to brace it.