Olde Oneida bridge won’t open before Jan. 1

Construction crews rehabbing the Olde Oneida Street bridge hit some snags this month and now say it won’t be open until 2013.

Paula Vandehey, Appleton’s public works director, updated aldermen Tuesday and said the delays would linger into at least January. The bridge was slated to open Nov. 1.

Two weeks ago, the state Department of Transportation estimated the additional work would push the opening date to mid-December. Waukesha-based Zenith Tech holds the contract for the job.

The $2.5 million project over the Fox River was held up when crews sandblasted the steel structure that holds up the deck.

“The DOT is still doing some analysis as to whether they’ll weld on a plating system to make it stronger, or replace the steel altogether,” Vandehey said.

The new concrete deck will not be affected by the additional work, but engineers still don’t know how much the problem will cost to fix. Eighty percent of the project is paid by state and federal funds, and 20 percent comes from Appleton.

One plan would require workers to jack up the bridge’s deck less than a half-inch and remove the old steel, according to the DOT.

— Nick Penzenstadler: 920-996-7226, or npenzenstadler@postcrescent.com; on Twitter @npenzenstadler

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