By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN The clock on the Bergen bridge replacement project south of Lester Prairie began ticking again April 16.
The official construction season in Minnesota was closed from November until April 15. During that period, no working days were charged against the contractor, Duininck Bros. of Prinsburg.
As of April 15, the contractor had 26 working days left to complete the project under the contract. Only weekdays when weather conditions permit work to go on count as working days.
Pouring of the deck for the new bridge, which spans the Crow River near Lester Prairie, was completed last Friday.
Project Engineer Jeff Rensch said it was his understanding that the contractor planned to start the approach grading portion of the project this week while the bridge deck is curing, and pour the concrete bridge railings next week.
After that, the remaining items will include bituminous paving, turf establishment, painting the bridge rails, and final clean up.
The bridge could open to traffic as early as mid-may, but Rensch made it clear that the schedule is dependent on the weather and other factors.
Depending on how many days are lost to weather, the number of working days left in the contract could allow the work to extend into the last week in May before the contractor would incur any penalties.