SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (WLUC) Fast facts:
- A $3.5 million CDN painting project at the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge is finished.
- The bridge's Canadian arch was painted this year using an alternate one-coat technique, which was faster and minimized environmental and bridge customer impacts.
- Work began May 1 and is expected to be completed today, nearly three weeks early.
A major painting project on the Canadian arch of the International Bridge in Sault Ste. Marie is wrapping up today, finishing about three weeks ahead of schedule and on budget.
The International Bridge Administration (IBA) rescheduled the $3.5 million CDN Canadian arch painting project to 2017 after bids came in higher than expected in 2016. The arch was painted using an alternate one-coat technique.
"Glavin Coating and Refinishing of Zurich, Ontario, mobilized to the work site on May 1 and has finished painting," said Bridge Engineer Karl Hansen. "They plan to complete removing scaffolding on the bridge later today."
Both lanes on the bridge will reopen to traffic, and commercial traffic size restrictions will return to standard limitations at 7 p.m. tonight. One lane of traffic has been closed on the arch due to scaffolding and paint containment set-up during the project.
"We're extremely pleased with the outcome of this project," said IBA General Manager Peter Petainen. "The single-coat paint system offered a substantial savings - 47 percent under the 2016 bids - and quicker application times. We've been able to limit the impact on bridge customers to a single construction season and minimize disturbance to the environment. The IBA will be closely monitoring the new paint system, but we expect to see long-term benefits, including enhanced corrosion resistance."
One sign of International Bridge operations returning to normal: the colored Canadian arch LED lights will be turned back on now that the project is done.
"We're pleased that this important painting work has been successfully completed," Petainen said. "On behalf of the IBA, I want to thank our bridge customers for their patience during the project this summer."
For a complete list of International Bridge commercial traffic restrictions, visit the IBA website here