If SR 43 north of town is part of your daily commute you’re probably all too familiar with the new bridge construction that has been underway now for the last 4 to 5 months. For the most part traffic has been only moderately impacted but it is such a busy intersection that even moderate impacts can back traffic up in a hurry.
The good news is that because the intersection and the bridge were such a traffic bottleneck the City was eligible for a lot of state and federal bridge funding which we used to finance this new bridge. The bad news is that until the new bridge is on-line the tough traffic is going to get a little tougher as motorists will have periodic lane restrictions and contractors digging in the right of way to contend with.
At this point the building demolition has been completed and the utility companies have been busy relocating their lines. Most of those plates and street cuts are the markings of where power and phone lines have been re-routed to accomodate the new bridge crossing. With a little bit of good weather late in 2009 the bridge contractor was also able to get a fair amount of concrete abutments poured and work continues on retaining walls right now.
On Tuesday, January 26 the contractor will be setting the pieces for the tunnel sections for the Hike and Bike Trail that will run below the new bridge. The tunnel is a fairly prominent piece of the project so I thought it warranted a little mention in the blog. So in your travels around town you might want to try to drive by to see it.
For reference purposes I’ve shown a part of the rendering for the new bridge so that you can see how the tunnel fits into the whole project.