CORNWALL, Ontario – The north span of the Seaway International Bridge could be history in as little as 18 months.
Wade Dorland, interim general manager of the Seaway International Bridge Corporation, said demo crews have set an ambitious goal of completely removing the bridge by early 2016.
“It’s going to be a bit of a dance up there,” he said. “They will have to crane a lot of it down.”
Demo crews are expected to begin mobilizing in August and their first task will be to begin “peeling back” the decking on the bridge, said Dorland.
The deck removal will take place in two stages, with crews focusing on a northern section that stretches from Water Street to the traffic circle.
After the decking is removed in that section, crews will focus on the remainder of the decking in a follow-up stage.
“They will use jack hammers, or cut it out,” said Dorland. “For the items over the water, barges will be used.”
Traffic on Brookdale Avenue is expected to be rerouted for a time while the demo work proceeds.
City officials were not immediately available for comment to discuss details.
Subsequent bridge work, next year, will include the removal of the steel structure, followed by most of the concrete columns.
“The pillars in the water will remain, and one pillar on the canal lands will be used as a lookout,” said Dorland. “We’re going to build a walkway out to it.”
Dorland and organizers of a bridge open house are still basking in the success of one of the most well-attended public functions in recent memory.
Thousands of people walked the bridge one last time Tuesday.
Dorland said organizers had planned for 1,000 visitors, but estimates suggest 10 times that many showed up. Dorland said free post cards and water bottles were quickly released to the public.
He also added despite a call from some for one more such open house, there is unlikely to be a repeat of the event.