I was able to attend the meeting yesterday at the bridge site with Dan, Jerry and Doug Blair from R. H. Marlin. The current plan is to lift the span into place late next week. Everything is going to be weather dependent. If we get as much rain this week as they are saying, it may delay the date. Jerry is proceeding with having an excavation contractor prepare the temporary road bed to and into the river. That effort is to begin today. They will need a few days for that. The weather may set them back a day or two. Dan is going to proceed with getting the span placed on large dollies so that it can be transported into the river bed. R. H. Marlin is prepared to have cranes in place next week. We'll need to see how the weather goes this week to see if we can stay on that schedule. I would think that by Monday we will know for sure what day the span is going to be lifted into place. I expect that Dan will coordinate with R. H. Marlin on Monday or Tuesday to finalize the day. So, notification of the media may be a two-step process. I would think that you would want to go ahead and let them know now of the approximate timing of the lifting of the span with the understanding that the final determination will be a day-to-day proposition.
The same thing will need to happen in approximately four to five weeks to lift the second span into place.
Once the first span is set, I believe that it is Dan's intention to commence with the placement of flooring, rafters, roofing, siding, etc. on that span as the second span is being assembled. Once the second span is set into place, the same work will need to occur for that span. If the second span is set into place sometime during the week of May 10, that will leave approximately three to three and a half weeks to complete the work on the second span in time for the festival. All of that is, of course, dependent upon weather and available manpower. Once the bridge is completed, Jerry will then need some time to remove the temporary road bed. I wouldn't expect that to be completed prior to the festival. When the festival occurs, it would be reasonable to expect that there will still be some minor work to be completed on the bridge, but, if all goes according to plan and if the weather cooperates, the bridge should be substantially complete by the festival weekend.
[Our thanks to James Crouse for forwarding this story - Ed.]