Phase one of the two-year project that began in April is on schedule and on budget.
Twelve-hundred tonnes of asphalt has been removed from the southbound lanes, new concrete installed, barriers are being built and crews are now working on strengthening the bridge piers.
Todd Grabowski, the city’s acting engineer manager on the project, explained the rehabilitation project was needed to ensure the bridge remained safe and structurally sound.
“Part of the investigation inspection we noticed some cracking on the piers which initiated the need for strengthening and a detailed load analysis to make sure the bridge is going to be safe for legal loads,” he said.
Some of the extra load being carried by the bridge was the 635,000 kg of pigeon feces in the 36 cavities underneath, equal to 360 medium-sized cars stopped on the bridge.
The cavities have been cleaned out and closed off to prevent wildlife from entering in the future.
Grabowski said the city knew there would be some pigeon feces to remove but the amount that had piled up over the years blew him away.
“The problem was those cavities were about 10,800 square feet of real estate,” he said. “Feces could build and develop, with that it just added a lot of weight to be added to the bridge.”
Construction of the bridge will pick back up in the spring, reducing traffic back down to a single lane in each direction.