Delaware bridge damage may have developed rapidly

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — An engineer who first noticed that columns supporting a major interstate highway bridge in Delaware were tilting said he visited the site shortly after the bridge was closed and saw that they had shifted even farther.

The account of geotechnical engineer Dave Charles in an interview Thursday with The Associated Press suggests the potentially catastrophic problem may have unfolded quickly over a short period of time.

Charles said he told state transportation officials May 29 about possible problems with the bridge on Interstate 495 in Wilmington. He visited the site again Tuesday, a day after officials closed the bridge.

Asked how officials didn't notice until this week that there was a problem with the bridge, Delaware Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt (SHAY-lin Baht) also suggested the damage may have happened rapidly.

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