Crews lift beams into place for McKenzie interchange

The McKenzie interchange is about to start looking a lot more like an interchange this weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday, work crews will lift into place the precast concrete box beams that will eventually become the Highway 1 underpass.

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The Transportation Ministry said traffic will not be affected by the work other than the usual delays associated with the project.

The two spans each consist of 15 concrete beams. Each beam weighs between 52 and 62 tonnes, depending on length.

The north span will be 27 metres long and the south span will be 34 metres long.

When the beams are in place, crews will start work on the bridge deck and approaches to connect McKenzie Avenue with Admirals Road across the highway.

When the connection is completed, cross traffic will be moved onto the new bridge, allowing crews to finish excavating and constructing the highway below.

The now-$96-million project remains about six months behind schedule and over budget by $11 million due to design changes, weather delays and other setbacks, according to the ministry.

Work on the project began in 2016. The government initially expected to finish construction in 2018, but pushed that to 2019 and then to the summer of 2020.

The ministry anticipates removing the traffic lights on Highway 1 at McKenzie Avenue by this winter.

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