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December 27. 2012 10:21PM

Memorial Bridge's south span in Portsmouth coming in January

PORTSMOUTH - The first span of the new Memorial Bridge is slated to be installed by the middle of January.

The superstructure for the south fixed span of the bridge has been under construction at the state pier on Market Street since early fall.

The "old bridge" was closed for good last January and the new bridge is scheduled to open this summer.

Major events associated with the bridge construction, from the final closure to the float-out of the center lift span, have drawn crowds to the shores of the Piscataqua River. Regular updates on the timeline for the float-ins of the new spans are being made available at www.memorialbridgeproject.com. The first section of the bridge will be floated upriver by barge sometime next month.

On the Portsmouth side of the bridge, Archer Western Construction has placed the concrete for the Scott Avenue approach and the remainder of the approach work will be completed in 2013.

On the other side of the bridge in Kittery, Maine, construction of the new abutment for the approach is complete, precast beams have been installed and the concrete bridge deck has been placed. The concrete wing walls will be placed sometime in January.

Construction hours have been extended for several weeks due to the challenges of installing micropiles on the three main piers. Archer Western will continue on double shifts until all 18 micropiles have been installed on Pier 3 sometime in January.

Construction of the south tower will also begin at the end of January and construction will get under way on the north fixed span of the bridge at the state pier.

According to the project's website, the float-in of the south span is expected to require three slack tides to complete.

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Gretyl Macalaster may be reached at gmacalaster@newstote.com.


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