Nova Scotia

Macdonald Bridge Big Lift start delayed for this weekend

Halifax Harbour Bridges has put the brakes on weekend plans to start removing the first of 46 decks on the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge as part of the $150 million "Big Lift" project.

Bridge officials announced Thursday they are still working to finalize details

Spokeswoman Alison MacDonald said Halifax Harbour Bridges and contractor American Bridge Company Canada aren't quite ready to replace the first deck as part of the "Big Lift" project. (Jennifer Henderson/CBC)

Halifax Harbour Bridges has put the brakes on weekend plans to start removing the first of 46 decks on the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge as part of the $150 million "Big Lift" project.

Bridge officials announced Thursday they were working to finalize details to allow the deck segment replacements to begin.

Spokeswoman Alison MacDonald said HHB and contractor American Bridge Company Canada aren't quite ready to begin that stage of the project.

"This is a project of a million different details and we're just going to wait until we are 100 per cent ready," she said.

A yellow gantry is in place on the Macdonald Bridge, ready to lower and lift the first of 46 deck sections. The Macdonald is only the second suspension bridge to replace decking while remaining open for traffic.

The first was at the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver.

The first segment, a new 120-tonne steel deck known as D-1, is waiting at Cherubini Metal Works in Woodside. A barge will float it down Halifax Harbour for the first installation.

Timeline still in place

MacDonald said they don't expect a long delay for the first deck segment lift.

"We are expecting in the next couple of weeks. We'll know more next week, but it's soon."

She said the project is still meeting deadlines.

"Things are progressing very well and you know if you drive across the bridge today you will see the amount of work that has been going on in terms of the lifting gantry that is all ready to go and the temporary deck connection that was installed last weekend," she said.

Halifax Harbour Bridges missed its original Aug. 28 deadline to remove the first section, but MacDonald said the overall timeline for the project is still in place.

"We are on track. We have 46 deck segments to install and they will be installed between fall 2015 and fall 2016 which is essentially the timeline that has been in place for a while," she said.

MacDonald said they will communicate widely when the first deck lift will take place.

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