Niles Main Street Bridge on track to open in November
Published 9:09 am Wednesday, October 7, 2015
A project engineer says the Niles Main Street Bridge is on track to open before the end of November — a couple weeks sooner than the mid-December estimate he had made last month.
“We are looking at Nov. 25 if the weather holds and everything keeps going well,” said Chris Jacobs, an engineer with the Michigan Department of Transportation.
Jacobs said construction crews were able to make up time by working longer hours and adding more workers.
“They have five or six contractors on site right now. They will be tripping over each other pretty soon,” Jacobs said.
Workers are in the process of preparing the bridge for the pouring of the concrete deck, which is the surface that vehicles and pedestrians will travel on spanning from one abutment to the other.
“We are shooting to start pouring on the 14th of this month,” Jacobs said. “From start to finish it will take about 14 days.
“We anticipate if weather holds, we will have the bridge open about a month after the deck is done.”
Once the deck is poured, crews will still need to pour the concrete sidewalks on the bridge, pour the lookouts on the bridge, install the bridge railing and finish up the approaches, among other things.
“Basically they are trying to get everything done this year except the plantings, which we will come back and do next year,” Jacobs said.
Work to demolish the former bridge and build a new one began in October of 2014. It is being run by MDOT and is expected to cost approximately $10.6 million.