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SPRINGFIELD — Two-lane traffic could return to the John Blue Bridge in another 3 weeks or so, a Division of Highways engineer said Friday. 

“At this point mid-December is my best estimate,” said Ryan Arnold, the District 5 area engineer who is working closely with the contractors. 

When work began in the spring of 2020, the projected completion date was Oct. 15. By this summer that had been pushed back to November. 

Arnold confirmed what passersby on Route 28 can see as they cross the bridge a single lane at a time. “The majority of the approach work is nearing completion.”

“I’m sure everyone is getting anxious,” he said. 

But a few items on the bridge deck remain to be complete before it can be open for both lanes of traffic. 

He specified some painting, pouring shoulder stone and placing guardrails on the to-do list. 

Brayman Construction began work on the $12.15 million project last spring. 

Traffic was reduced to 1 lane on June 23, 2020, while the western half of the old bridge, in use since 1936, was torn off. 

When the new lane was finished a year later, traffic was switched to it over the 4th-of-July weekend and the old steel truss bridge was quickly demolished. o

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