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Published: Saturday, 5/31/2008

King bridge rehabilitation nears its official completion

Only a warranty replacement of some internal machinery remains to be done before rehabilitation of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Bridge is officially finished, a city official said yesterday.

National Engineering's contractual deadline was yesterday for finishing the $48 million project to overhaul and modernize the nearly century-old drawbridge across the Maumee River between downtown and East Toledo.

David Welch, commissioner of streets, bridges, and harbor, said National has completed all work requiring lane closings on the bridge, but within the next month or two will replace two couplings inside its lift mechanism covered by warranty.

City workers are painting concrete sealer on the bridge's sidewalks and parapet walls after repairing minor cracks that formed as the concrete hardened.

That work could require an occasional, short-term lane closing during off-peak hours, Mr. Welch said.

Unresolved is a city lawsuit against HNTB Corp. and Bergmann Associates Inc., blaming them for $4.4 million in cost overruns the city incurred because of a construction-plan defect that delayed a major part of the project for a year.

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