If you’ve been eagerly awaiting the opening of the new South Park Bridge, looks like the wait is going to be a bit longer. The projected opening timeframe for the bridge has been “spring 2014” for a while … but today, the county’s detailed invitation to next week’s South Park slideshow presentation on bridge construction says it won’t open until sometime this summer, after extensive wiring work. A cached copy of the project webpage shows it displaying “Anticipated Opening: Spring 2014” as recently as last Sunday.
The bridge originally was projected to open in fall 2013; as first reported on WSB and partner site The South Park News in fall 2012, that changed because foundation work took longer than planned. We have a request out to the county for comment on what has caused the latest change. The old bridge was closed June 30, 2010, after being deemed unsafe; funding for a replacement wasn’t certain by that point, but was eventually secured, and the new bridge’s groundbreaking was in May 2011.
4:09 PM UPDATE: County Transportation Department spokesperson Rochelle Ogershok says this isn’t the result of a new problem, but rather the re-evaluation of the timeline. Her response, ahead:
I think the South Park community is aware that the contractor encountered significant excavation and foundation issues when constructing the bridge piers more than a year ago – and those problems delayed the timeline. Now we are approaching spring so we wanted folks to know we are now looking at a summer timeframe. As was mentioned in the update, heavy construction is winding down and we are entering the final phase of the project that involves a major electrical installation. Because this phase is so tedious and complex, we won’t have an exact opening date until we get further into the installation. We don’t want to throw out a completion date and have to revise again –that would only add to the frustration some are feeling.
We can sympathize with those in the community who wish the project was done. We also want the bridge reopened. We want to assure the community we are anxious for the contractor to complete this final phase in a timely manner. We will let folks know when we expect the bridge to open as we move through this last phase of electrical work.