"It will be a great deal of relief to have this back where it belongs," said Marcus Vitiello, spokesman for Bechtel Infrastructure Corp., one of the partners in the Southern New Jersey Light Rail Group, a consortium contracted by New Jersey Transit to design, build, operate and maintain the line.
The Rail Group will absorb costs associated with the accident, Vitiello said. About 200 workers, including engineers, marine consultants and bridge designers have been involved in righting the center span and determining what went wrong, he said.
Rigging International, a California company that has helped salvage bridges damaged by earthquakes and other disasters, was directing about 50 workers on site yesterday. The process, which could take between seven and 24 hours to complete depending on tides, was expected to be completed by midday today.
The creek is closed to marine traffic through Monday, and law enforcement boats are patrolling the water. Airspace in the area was also restricted while the structure was being pulled upright so that aircraft would not interfere with communications between workers on either side of the creek, officials said.
Crews used about 4,000 feet of cable to hoist the structure. Diesel-powered winches, anchored to concrete blocks, slowly pulled on cables running from each side of the center span. The pulley system was used to create tension to prevent the structure from tipping to its other side.
When the structure is upright, four extra 41-foot-long barges will be added to the main 180-foot barge for added balance.
Next week, the center span will be turned and floated into place between the two piers. It will rest on concrete pads already in place, officials said.
Lauren Mayk's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.