- Associated Press - Sunday, August 30, 2015

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. (AP) - Vermont transportation officials say drivers heading northbound on Interstate 91 in White River Junction should continue to find alternate routes while bridge replacement work continues.

Crews are installing the slide-in-bridge - Vermont’s first - over the course of 60 hours this weekend. They expect the new bridge on the northbound lanes will be in place and passable by 6 a.m. Monday.

The bridge is just north of Lebanon and Hanover, New Hampshire.

The Valley News reports (https://bit.ly/1F9hJr8 ) that workers from Florida-based PCL Construction are knocking down the old bridge and will replace it with the slide-in bridge that has been under construction since March.

State transportation officials said they hope travelers will appreciate that using the innovative bridge replacement technique to cram the worst delays into a 60-hour windows is preferable to the drawn-out process of conventional construction.

“We believe we’re getting much better value for the taxpayer, but more importantly, less inconvenience long term for our customers,” Vermont Transportation Secretary Sue Minter said.

Traffic on Route 5 under the project is expected to be backed up throughout the duration of the work.

The new northbound bridge was supposed to be installed last weekend, but weather concerns delayed the project.

PCL Construction project manager Jeremy Mackling tells the newspaper that sliding the 420-ton bridge into place is expected to take eight hours. About 60 workers will be using hydraulic jacks to move the bridge into place in 18-inch increments.

“You might not want a stopwatch on us,” Mackling said.

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