With the restrictions in place, the bridge is safe to use, said park service spokesman Wayne Campbell.
Federal officials estimate a full repair of the bridge will cost about $250 million and take two to three years. But a first step in the repair program is likely to begin in late August. A contract was awarded in July for a $2.5 million repair project that would take about six months to complete.
“As of right now, we don’t have a specific start date for the construction other than late August,” Campbell said.
The contract, awarded to the Cianbro Corp., calls for repairs for steel and concrete at the draw span, which hasn’t been opened since 1961, as well as concrete sidewalk repairs, drainage improvements and asphalt work.
“These repairs are expected to allow all lanes and sidewalk to reopen, but the 10-ton weight limit will remain in affect until a more comprehensive rehabilitation and repair to the bridge is completed,” Campbell said.