Large crane arrives at Niles Main Street Bridge
Published 9:55 am Friday, September 11, 2015
A crowd of about a dozen people gathered in Niles Riverfront Park Thursday afternoon to watch the next step in the building of a new Main Street Bridge.
Just before noon, three trucks carrying pieces of a 550-ton crane motored down Main Street and pulled into the construction site on the east side of the St. Joseph River.
The crane parts were parked on a bed of rocks next to one of the bridge’s piers in the St. Joseph River.
Workers immediately began putting together the crane, which will be used to set 21 beams across the bridge’s two abutments and piers.
Each beam is approximately 123 feet long and weighs some 72 tons.
Workers expect to begin placing the beams Friday morning. They will start by setting beams on the span from the west abutment to the west pier.
Fourteen of the 21 beams were delivered last week and the final seven are expected to be brought in today.
Seven beams will be set per span, starting from the west-most span and moving east.
The new bridge replaces one that had been in place for 90 years. The Michigan Department of Transportation project comes at a price tag of $10.6 million.
MDOT engineer Chris Jacobs has said that the bridge is on track to open to traffic by the end of November or early December.