Spans set for new Turtle Creek bridge as work on schedule for May opening

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Workers have set the new support spans for the bridge that will span Turtle Creek, and with work continuing and good weather so far, the bridge may be slightly ahead of schedule.

The work is being done by McAlister Excavating, and the work is expected to be completed around May 17th of next year. Not only is the bridge being replaced, but a curve in the road is being taken out to make the traffic flow much more smoothly through that area.

Cathy McAlister said the crew believes that the bridge may be just ahead of schedule, but quickly pointed out that just as easily as good weather got the work ahead of schedule – foul weather could hold up work during the winter.

“You never know with the weather,” Cathy McAlister said. “Everything seems to be going fine right now. We’re just continuing to look at the weather.”

The next step in the process will be to install the metal deck panels and the reinforcing steel. Once that is complete, workers will then form and pour the diaphragms and the deck of the bridge.

The pouring of the concrete will be the tricky part of the project, as the weather will need to cooperate in order to have the right temperatures for the concrete to cure properly.

That temperature may vary depending on several things, but the experts at McAlister Excavating will be watching the weather closely in order to find a window of opportunity to do the pour.

A grant from the federal government will pay 80-percent of the cost of the bridge; but the county has been jumping through regulatory hoops for more than eight years while waiting on the funds to be officially awarded. The county awarded the project to McAlister Excavating in June with a bid of $974,135.69.

“With as much rain as we’ve had, it’s actually gone pretty well to this point,” Cathy McAlister said. “Right now we’re getting into weather, so you never know about that. You never know what you’ll get into.”