Construction continues for ‘Blue Bridge’ replacement

Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 7:47 PM CDT
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NEWPORT, Ark. (KAIT) - Work continues on a new bridge to replace the iconic “Blue Bridge” in Newport.

Construction started more than five years ago in 2015.

“That old one served us well and for many many years,” said resident Larry Jordan. “But we are definitely due for a new bridge.”

A weight restriction is in place for the Blue Bridge, which was closed for emergency repairs in 2019 after inspectors discovered “deteriorated concrete in the bridge deck.”

Stan Glover, construction engineer for the Arkansas Department of Transportation’s District 5, said the bridge is still safe for travel, despite the weight restrictions.

While the bridge was expected to be finished last fall, he said it will not be completed until later this year.

“We are down to the final midspan of pouring the bridge deck and hope to do that in the next few weeks,” said Glover. “Pretty substantial amount of time behind and contractors working to catch up. They paid a good amount of money for liquidated damages.”

They are looking at November 2021 as the finish date.

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