NEW YORK— Amtrak is reaching a significant milestone in its efforts to replace the existing 104-year old Niantic River Bridge in East Lyme, Conn., with the float-in of the new bascule lift span to the new alignment south of the existing bridge.
After the float-in of the new bridge span is completed later today, crews will begin the process of connecting it to the new pivot girders located on the land side of the marine channel. As a result, access to the channel beneath the structure will be closed to the maritime community beginning March 26, through March 30 to allow for the safe movement of construction equipment. Amtrak does not anticipate any significant impact to its rail operations during this time, but some minor delays may be encountered as a result the scheduled single track operations on the existing bridge.
The next major milestone for bridge-related elements of the project will be to shift rail traffic to the new structure with the first track scheduled to open later this summer followed by the second track sometime this fall. Then, next spring the existing bridge will be demolished.
The three-year project, which began in April 2010, is being constructed at a cost of $140 million. It remains on-schedule with an estimated completion date of May 2013.