WEST LEBANON, N.H. (AP) — Work to rebuild two Interstate 89 bridges over the Connecticut River is underway but drivers will not encounter major changes for at least a year, New Hampshire transportation officials said.
Site work on the $43.8 million project started this past week. The first task is to build a new pier and deck that will serve as temporary travel lanes, the Valley News reported.
“It is a five-year project and we will spend the first year and a half coming up out of the river because we need to construct new piers between the two existing ones,” said Jeffrey Potter, an engineer with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, on Wednesday.
After the new travel lanes are complete, southbound vehicles will be diverted onto them so that workers can remove the bridge's deck and superstructure. The highway will then be widened so that traffic can move more freely between interstates 89 and 91.
Construction on the northbound bridge will start after the southbound bridge is complete, with traffic into Vermont diverted onto the temporary roadway.
The bridges are on New Hampshire’s “red list” priority ranking, meaning they’re inspected twice a year due to their poor condition while other state-owned bridges are inspected every two years.