With the summer season over, work on the A. Piatt Andrew Bridge has kicked back into high gear.
Work had wrapped up for the summer before Memorial Day, but the state Department of Transportation is picking up the pace on the Route 128 span crossing the Annisquam River.
Transportation Department spokesmen will update City Council on the bridge project Tuesday at the request of state Sen. Bruce E. Tarr, said DOT press secretary Sara Lavoie in an email. The council will meet from 7 to 11 p.m. at Kyrouz Auditorium in City Hall. This week, crews closed Route 128 travel lanes on both sides over the bridge.
“There is painting underway, which will continue as long as temperatures are warm enough,” Lavoie stated.
Lavoie said work will continue into spring, the next construction season, stretching the work into its fifth year.
The state began rehabilitating the 62-year-old bridge that carries Route 128 between the island of Cape Ann and West Gloucester in 2008. That was when Transportation Department officials deemed it “structurally deficient,” a designation meaning the bridge was in need of repairs but wasn’t a danger to drivers.
It was estimated then that the project would take three years, finish in September 2011, and cost $25 million. Any work left to be done was expected to involving cleaning and painting.
But as crews set up staging underneath the bridge, further inspections uncovered the need to do more structural steel work under its main arch.
As of Memorial Day, the DOT had spent $25.7 million on the project. This past spring, crews were repairing the steel beams beneath the bridge. The added steel work was expected to cost another $1.3 million.
The work is designed to pull the bridge out of the structurally deficient category.
Steven Fletcher may be contacted at 1-978-283-7000 x3455, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stevengdt.