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Updated Nov. 2: Massive Crane Moving Off Campus This Weekend

October 22, 2018

New information impacts campus traffic Nov. 3 and 4:

Western Wood Structures will work Saturday, November 3 to set one more large panel with the larger crane. They’ll pull the larger crane (360-ton lift capacity) out early Sunday morning along Albany Drive and use the Campus Safety visitor lot to load up.

Gate 3 will be blocked off all Sunday morning and potentially part of the afternoon with a barrier and signage and the contractors will have flaggers in the road.

Campus Safety visitors lot and parking spaces will be blocked off Saturday and Sunday.

The smaller (130-ton lift capacity) crane will remain on site until the middle to end of next week to complete roof panel installations. Departure plans for the smaller crane will be posted here next week.

Starting Wednesday, Oct. 24, the construction team in charge of the new ravine bridge will be bringing in heavy equipment to place the fabricated bridge and roof into position. The project plan and schedule have been designed to minimize disruptions to campus life and maximize project safety. Bearing that in mind, there will still be disruptions and modest impacts to parking and navigation around campus.

Please obey all signage, stay away from the work area, and do your best to be patient and flexible during this critical phase of the bridge’s construction. Here is a detailed timeline of the anticipated impacts:

Wednesday, Oct. 24 — Thursday, Oct. 25
  • On Wednesday, from 7 a.m. to noon, construction crews will be placing steel plates in designated spots between the Glade and Pamplin Sports Center. Flagging and spotting crews will accompany the plate team to ensure community safety. The plates are designed to protect critical underground infrastructure from the weight of the cranes.

  • On Wednesday, from 6 a.m. to approximately 8 a.m., the smaller of the two cranes (130-ton lift capacity) will be unloaded at the Fir Acres parking lot staging area. Crews will move the smaller crane up the hill to Gate 2, down Palatine Hill Road to Gate 5, and down Huddleston Lane to the South Ravine staging area. This will impact parking at the Fir Acres lot and the Copeland-Howard lot.

  • The service road on campus will be closed to vehicular traffic much of the day Wednesday, which should affect campus service vehicles and vendors only.

  • Wednesday afternoon through Thursday, the smaller crane will be hoisting bridge components into place.

Saturday, Oct. 27 — mid-November (TBD)
  • On Saturday morning, construction crews will load onto campus the larger crane (360-ton lift capacity).
  • The load-in and mobilization of the larger crane will also impact parking in the north end of the Fir Acres parking lot (approximately a dozen parking spots will be needed).
  • From 7 a.m. through early Saturday afternoon, crews will move the larger crane from the Fir Acres staging area to the bridge construction site. Flaggers and spotters will be deployed to manage road traffic.
  • On Monday morning, the construction team will pick up and swing into place the fabricated bridge section, and then begin picking and lowering the roof sections into position.
  • Depending on the rate of progress, construction crews will “demobilize” the larger crane in a reverse of the load-in route.
  • Monday, October 29: An initial lift of the largest section is expected to take place around 8:30 a.m., with smaller sections (roofs) being placed throughout the day. The best observation points are on the footpath that runs parallel to Howard and the ravine, and on the dirt service path below the Manor House on the garden side of the ravine.

Once the bridge and roof have been installed, the bridge will still not be open for use! Rather, once done, crews will start tying off existing utilities (sewer, water, electric) from the old bridge to the new bridge, which will take a few weeks. Then, the old bridge will be carefully deconstructed (3 weeks). And finally, decking, lighting, railing, and approaches will be installed.

The goal is for the new bridge to be completed and in service by February 2019.

Please be aware: this schedule assumes the construction goes according to plan. Any issues that arise can affect the project timeline.

Community members interested in viewing the work will have access to a viewing area, which is the service path north of the ravine. Please consult the attached maps for more information. We will announce times for bridge lifts later this week and next week.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation and patience during this work.

If you have any questions, please contact Michel George.