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Bridge Update: White oak plank installation wraps up project

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by Carla Occaso

FINISHING TOUCHES - Jay Hayden, left, and Jordan Wheeler work on the white oak planks for the walkway they are laying down on the Granite Street Bridge Tuesday, Nov. 4. Photo by Carla Occaso.
FINISHING TOUCHES – Jay Hayden, left, and Jordan Wheeler work on the white oak planks for the walkway they are laying down on the Granite Street Bridge Tuesday, Nov. 4. Photo by Carla Occaso.

The decision to install imported white oak planks on the walkway held up the final step in the Granite Street Bridge renovation, according to acting Department of Public Works Director Tom McArdle on Tuesday, Nov. 4. Replacing the old planks was not part of the original plan, McArdle explained to The Bridge by phone Tuesday, but when they were removed to allow workers to paint the entire steel portion of the bridge, it was obvious many of them needed to be replaced.

Consequently, that phase of the project had to be resubmitted for review and approval by the city via a change-order before that step could commence. “It didn’t go as quickly as I was hoping it would,” McArdle said of the entire process.  In addition, they did not order the materials until later in the game. The wood came from Canada.

Workers on site Tuesday, Nov. 4 installed the planks. They do not need to be painted or otherwise coated, according to McArdle, who said white oak does not need additional preservatives. McArdle characterized the overall project as a “painting and minor rehab” job.