July 14, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Repair crews are making progress removing the bridge deck as Phase 2 of renovations to the Princess Margaret Bridge in Fredericton continues. This update came during a briefing with officials from the provincial government and SNC-Lavalin Construction.
"From the ground, you can see crews working on the north end of the bridge using a 110-tonne crane to remove the old bridge deck," said Finance Minister Greg Byrne. "It is rather impressive to see this work unfold and witness some major holes and gaps. New, pre-fabricated bridge deck panels will be installed in the coming days."
Byrne was speaking on behalf of Transportation Minister Denis Landry. Environment Minister Rick Miles also attended the briefing.
Phase 2 includes the removal and replacement of the bridge deck and floor beams, replacement of the bridge guardrail, expansion joint assemblies, concrete removal and replacement to strengthen bridge piers and abutments, painting, upgrading, installation of bridge bearings and refurbishment of structural steel work.
"It is already the second week of the closure, and the work has been non-stop," said Ken Dean, project director, SNC-Lavalin Construction. "There are many aspects of the project happening in parallel. At the pier bottoms, for example, unsound concrete is being removed, and this will eventually be encapsulated with new concrete. Further up, the steel superstructure is being sand-blasted and primed for eventual painting. There is also steel repair and strengthening as noted by Minister Byrne. We anticipate placing the first of the new precast deck panels by the end of the week."
The provincial government is investing about $81 million to modernize and strengthen the 53-year-old bridge during three construction seasons. SNC-Lavalin Construction won the design and construction contract for Phase 2 after a competitive bid process that included a request for qualifications and a request for proposals RFP.
Byrne asked residents in Greater Fredericton for their continued co-operation in using alternate means of transportation as well as changing their driving habits and travel times to avoid congestion on the Westmorland Street Bridge. More than 100 detour signs are in place to direct drivers to alternate routes. The bridge, located on Route 8, is closed until Sunday, Aug. 8.
"In addition to car-pooling or walking, the Department of Transportation's park-and-ride shuttle bus from the Brookside Mall to downtown Fredericton remains in place along with several bicycle racks provided by the province," said Byrne.
Web cameras of the Westmorland Street Bridge may be viewed online at the Department of Transportation site and the City of Fredericton site.
MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew Holland, communications, Department of Transportation, 506-453-5634.