Anyone who has traveled to or from the island since Wednesday will have noticed the barge sitting just south of the middle bridge. It is hard to miss.
Around 3 p.m. on Wednesday the tugs were moving the barges, and rounding the south end of the island.
“It was exciting to see the barges move into place,” said GIBA board president David Hayes. “This is step one, getting the temporary bridge set on land. It is affirmation that construction has begun.”
According to the timeline presented at the Public Information Meeting on February 28, the temporary south bridge should be up and running within 120 days.
At that time, the demolition of the old bridge will begin. There is a new 15 mph work zone speed limit in effect, extending from 1000’ north of the swing bridge to 1000’ south of the south bridge. There are plans to move the northern end of the zone to just north of the south bridge until work starts on the center bridge.
“The zone is part of the Maintenance of Traffic plan. It is for the safety of the workers,” explained Executive Director Jim Cooper. “Right now the only real slow-down in traffic is from people stopping to watch the cranes work."
There will be a barge assigned to the south bridge for the duration of construction. Once work begins on the middle bridge, it will also have its own full-time barge.
“Most of the construction will take place on the barges, over the water, instead of on land,” Cooper said. “It is one more step that Orion is taking to ensure the safety of their workers and of everyone who uses the bridges."
Up next on the GIBA schedule is a Finance Committee Meeting on Tuesday, March 20 at 2:00 p.m. in the Community Center Auditorium. The meeting is open to the public, and everyone is encouraged to attend.
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