Here is the notice I posted on September 30th regarding the bridge work. Chuck
Alabama, Mobile River, 14-Mile Bridge Construction, Bridge Float-In, Waterway Closure – MNN093011
Construction continues on the bridge replacement project at the CSX Railroad Swing Span Bridge,
also known as the 14-Mile Bridge, across the Mobile River at Mile 13.3. At 5:00 a.m., on Sunday, October 30, 2011,
the contractor plans to commence the change out of the swing span bridge with the new vertical lift
bridge. As part of the change out and for the safety
of all personnel and equipment
, the COTP is expected to issue a Safety
Zone and close the Mobile River from below the 14-Mile Bridge at Mile 13.3 to just above the I-65 fixed bridge at Mile 21.0, from 5:00 a.m., on Sunday, October 30, 2011 through 5:00 a.m., on Wednesday, November 2, 2011.
In addition to this anticipated closure, the contractor is expected to request an oversize tow permit
to move the new vertical lift span from Mile 21.0 to Mile 14.0 several days ahead of the change out. The tow moving the vertical lift span downriver will be approximately 360 feet wide and passing or meeting this tow may not be possible. The contractor anticipates the movement of the equipment
will take between four and 6-hours to relocate.
On Sunday morning,
following the closure of the waterway, the contractor will begin removal
of the swing span bridge by placing the span on a barge using cranes. Once the swing span is removed, the contractor will begin demolition of the upper portion of the turn span to an elevation that will allow the vertical lift span to be set in place. Following the demolition of the upper portion of the turn span, the contractor will begin the process to place the vertical lift span on the bridge. Once the vertical lift span is in place, all cables
connections will be made and the bridge tested. Presently, it is anticipated that this testing will be completed by 5:00 a.m., on November 2, 2011.
Prior to the reopening of the waterway at 5:00 a.m., on Wednesday, November 2, 2011,
it is anticipated that the COTP will allow vessels upstream of the bridge wishing to transit through the bridge site to begin relocating within the Safety Zone closer to Mile 14.0. Once the waterway is reopened, the COTP will coordinate vessel movement through the bridge with train crossing over the bridge to minimize the delays to both modes of transportation until the backlog is cleared.
The COTP is expected to issue a separate MSIB to provide more details with regards to the Safety Zone and procedures for vessels getting on turn to transit through the bridge site. The bridge owner, contractor, and waterway users have been meeting with the U.S. Coast Guard to coordinate this bridge change out and to provide valuable guidance as to how to best facilitate the movement of vessels and trains following the reopening of the waterway.
Upon completion of the change out
and the reopening of the waterway, mariners will continue to pass between the old fender
system of the bridge until the contractor can complete demolition of the turn span and old fender
system. The contractor is anticipating the use of explosives to remove portions of the old turn span that will require additional waterway closures for the demolition and sweeping of the channel. Following the completion of the removals of the portions of the old bridge and fender system, the contractor will be required to provide information to the Coast Guard and Corps of Engineers that the old bridge has been satisfactorily removed.
Mariners are urged be alert
for equipment working within the river near the I-65 Bridge, as well as the 14-Mile Bridge, and should exercise caution when transiting these areas. For passing instructions, mariners may contact the M/V CAP’N JUD on VHF-FM Channels 13 or 16. For up-to-date information, mariners can contact the Scott Bridge Company at (334) 749-5045 or the Eighth Coast Guard District Bridge Administration Branch at
(504) 671-2128. If times or dates of the proposed work are changed, mariners will be notified as soon as practicable.
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