The London Bridge is whole again after repair crews worked quickly last week to replace a 44-foot section of railing on the northwest side of the bridge.
Technology Construction of Prescott did the repair work on the bridge, which included the replacement of 44-foot of top railing along with 36 balusters that weigh 250 pounds apiece. Project Superintendent David Cook said each of the granite pieces was secured in place with dowels then the workers grouted it.
Work was originally expected to last four to six weeks, but Technology Construction started the repairs on Monday and finished up Thursday.
“We attacked it hard and heavy,” Cook said. “It was good planning, and just getting in there and working nonstop – getting after it. After I saw the way the traffic was on the bridge I told the guys we are going to put it into high gear and get out of the way.”
Cook said the work crews were also buoyed by a hardy Havasu welcome that kept their spirits up.
“We got a lot of comments from people driving by and taking pictures,” Cook said. “They were telling us what a good job we were doing and how good it was looking. That kind of made the crew feel good and they just kept after it. There were a lot of holes to drill and a lot of dowels to epoxy in but we just stayed after it nonstop.”
Although the bulk of the repair work is finished and the bridge fully opened back up to traffic on Friday, it will still be a while before the new section of the bridge blends in with the rest. The fresh granite pieces are still significantly lighter in color than the surrounding older sections of the bridge.
Cook said the new pieces were treated Thursday with a chemical product called Natina, which is mixed with water and sprayed onto the granite to rapidly age the stone, darkening its appearance to match the rest of the bridge.
“I’ll probably have to come back and dress it up a little bit, but it takes 5 to 20 days to actually react depending on the heat, the sunlight, and a few variables,” Cook said. “So I’ll come back down there on Monday and take a look to see where it is at. If it is coloring good I’ll let it go a little longer.”