The southbound lanes of Highway 395 over the blue bridge are expected to re-open today, a day ahead of schedule.
Moe Davari, project engineer with the state Department of Transportation, told the Herald on Monday night that crews hope to get the bridge open in time for this morning's commute.
"We're shooting for first thing in the morning," he said.
The only delay would be caused by the cold weather, which could slow the curing time for the new concrete, Davari said.
Concrete was poured over the three newly installed expansion joints around 4:30 p.m. Monday, he said. It typically needs about 12 hours to become strong enough for cars to drive over.
The southbound Highway 395 lanes over the blue bridge originally were expected to be closed until Wednesday morning.
"We're ahead on this one," Davari said. "The contractor had more manpower and better planning, and that definitely helped getting it done 24 hours earlier."
Unexpected challenges replacing the 28-year-old expansion joints on the northbound side of the bridge led to a longer-than-planned closure last week.
Contractors were given an extra day to get the work done on the southbound lanes, but it wasn't needed.
Drivers still shouldexpect some single-lane closures in both directions of the blue bridge -- most likely at night -- for crews to finish up some work, Davari said.
"The key thing we've been focusing on is getting southbound opened," he said.
-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; firstname.lastname@example.org