“Everything’s going well,” said John Auger, Maine Department of Transportation project manager, at the site Wednesday afternoon.
Route 236 in the vicinity of the bridge overpass was closed to traffic Wednesday. Workers had until 8 a.m. this morning to complete the work, but Auger estimated the road would be open by 10 p.m. Wednesday.
According to Auger, traffic on the Bypass coming in both directions “has been flowing smoothly” throughout the day. “Everyone is following the (detour) signs,” he said.
The replacement bridge is expected to be installed within 35 days. Precast pieces will be arriving on the site by early next week.
Auger said this week that special attention has been paid to ensure that Portsmouth Naval Shipyard workers are aware of the work and seek alternative routes.
Most of the 4,700 shipyard workers arrive between 7 and 7:30 a.m. and depart between 3 and 3:30 p.m. Signs directing traffic around the site have been placed near Gates 1 and 2, Auger said.
Shipyard public affairs officer Danna Eddy said the yard has used “multiple means of internal communication to ensure the work force is prepared for this road closure” — including e-mail, Facebook and internal electronic signs.
She said the MDOT has proactively provided the shipyard information about the project in recent months.
Auger said once Route 236 is open, “all we have to do is build a bridge.”
Photo taken by Deborah McDermott