Macdonald Bridge to be closed Friday nights for deck work
Bridge will remain shutdown six nights a week until October or November
There are more closures on the way for the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge — it will be closed between 7 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. six nights a week until October or November.
The span has had nightly closures Sunday to Thursday since the spring.
Now, the bridge must also be closed on Friday nights to ensure there's enough time to prepare the bridge for the deck replacement work, scheduled to begin at the end of August.
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"We're only going to do the sixth night as long as we need to," said Jon Eppell, the chief engineer for Halifax Harbour Bridges. "The contractor doesn't want to be out there paying for the cost of traffic control and we don't want to inconvenience the public any more than we have to."
Access to the Macdonald Bridge is likely to get worse before it gets better, however, because the first four sections of the bridge will be replaced on weekends.
"To give ourselves a bit more time and flexibility, we don't want to rush, we want to do it right and we want to do it safely," Eppell said.
The replacement segments will be brought to the bridge on a barge and lifted into place. The Big Lift is expected to last 18 months.
Eppell says weekend closures won't be needed once the contractor can prove a deck section can be put in place during the overnight closure, which is 10.5 hours long.
"What we don't want to do is have it where we go to replace a segment and it's, 'Uh oh — we won't be able to open on time people,'" Eppell said. "That's what we want to avoid."