TRAFFIC ALERT: Route 1 near Inlet to close at 9 p.m.

Both the northbound and southbound lanes of Route 1, near the Indian River Inlet will close at approximately 9 p.m. tonight, due to high storm tides, report  officials from the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT).

Neither the existing or the new and under-construction Indian River Inlet bridge are in any danger. Storm tides have continued to erode the shore approximately 500 feet north of the exiting bridge approach, on the ocean side of the northbound lanes.

While the road is open and safe at present, DelDOT officials will close the road far in advance of the high tide, which occurs at approximately 11:30 p.m.   The closure is a precautionary measure which will ensure the public does not travel on the road should it become unsafe to do so tonight.

The state is experiencing a prolonged high tide due to the wind direction of the storm, and tides are high at this time of year anyway.

"We do not want to risk harm to motorists because of water on the roadway or other surface problems," said DelDOT Chief Engineer Natalie Barnhart. " We' are announcing the closure in advance, so residents and visitors will be able to plan accordingly."

The road will be monitored overnight, and DelDOT officials will make a thorough inspection and a determination about re-opening the road when daylight returns.

DelDOT  staff are being assisted  by personnel from The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Updates will be provided as they become available.