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Bridge project staying on budget

A park goer talks on his cell phone as work crews continue dismantling the Broad Avenue Bridge.

A park goer talks on his cell phone as work crews continue dismantling the Broad Avenue Bridge.

ALBANY, Ga. -- As demolition crews begun work dismantling its trademark arched piers Friday, GDOT officials say the work to tear down and rebuild the Broad Avenue Bridge is about a fifth of the way through, with more than $2.2 million already paid to contractors.

PCL Civil Constructors Inc., of Tampa, has been working to demolish the 90-year-old bridge for more than a month. David Spear, the spokesman for the Georgia Department of Transportation — the lead project manager on the demolition and reconstruction project — said that, as of Dec. 31, workers had completed 19 percent of the total scope of work.

The $11.8 million contract was awarded to PCL after the Albany City Commission agreed to let GDOT move forward with the project over the objections of a local bridge preservation group that had sought consideration to transform the bridge into a pedestrian park.

According to Spear, the project is largely on budget. Two change orders, or “supplemental agreements” in GDOT terminology, have been processed, increasing the budget of the project by $30,000.

One of the change orders, a change in the wall thickness of a gas line pipe that was relocated under the river, was added at no additional cost. The other change order, a study of the riverbed that will help the state and the contractor to avoid leaving any debris behind after construction is complete, increased the budget by $30,700.

Portions of the bridge that had historical significance, including the original plaques that were put on the bridge designating it as a memorial to World War I veterans, were removed before demolition began and are being stored at the Thronateeska Heritage Museum.