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Forum staff reports, Published December 17 2009

Center/NP Avenue bridge to reopen today

Fargo-Moorhead commuters will get some relief with the expected reopening of the Center Avenue/NP Avenue bridge by midmorning today, a Moorhead official said.

The bridge underwent repairs to remove rust between the support beams and pin-and-hanger plate assemblies that hold the bridge together, said Assistant City Engineer Tom Trowbridge.

Work on the bridge was to start at the end of October, but was delayed until about Nov. 10 due to Red River flooding, Trowbridge said. Repairs were completed Wednesday.

The bridge has 18 pin-and-hanger assemblies that were removed to get at the rust, a laborious process, Trowbridge said.

“It’s not an easy thing to do,” he said. “The pins get frozen in place and were difficult to remove.”

Rust expands metal, which can bow the hanger plates and cause one or more to fail, causing more extensive damage, Trowbridge said.

Sometime next year, maybe in June, some lanes on the bridge will be closed to do painting that cannot be done during the winter, he said.