It took Hannibal Street Department personnel just three days to assemble the new Ely Street bridge. It apparently will take even less time to remove the old structure.

It took Hannibal Street Department personnel just three days to assemble the new Ely Street bridge. It will take even less time to remove the old structure.

According to a member of the Bleigh Construction crew on site Tuesday morning, it is anticipated that the demolition of the 105-year-old bridge will take just two days. Mother Nature could present the only potential complications to that ambitious work schedule, either in the form of more rain or rising water in Bear Creek.

As of 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, half the bridge deck had already been removed, revealing rusted beams. The old bridge, which has been closed since late February due to extensive rusting, would shutter when the piece of heavy equipment used to break up the deck rolled onto the structure.

The sections of deck being removed were piled north of the bridge on the west side of Ely Street. As the remainder of the superstructure is cut into pieces on Wednesday, they will be temporarily placed in an open field east of Ely Street.

Removal of the bridge was delayed until this week to accommodate last weekend’s Kids in Motion’s Color in Motion 5K fun run/walk, whose route took participants over the bridge.

While assembly of the new structure, which will feature an 18-foot bridge deck plus an 8-foot bike and pedestrian walkway, is essentially complete, the tightening of some bolts remains to be wrapped up, according to Rich Dauma, director of the Street Department.

Public Works Superintendent Brian Chaplin said recently that after the old bridge is removed some prep work will be needed to the concrete abutments on which the new structure will rest.

Multiple cranes will reportedly be used to hoist the new bridge into position. A date for the relocation of the new bridge has not been announced.