CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - For the next two years, drivers in Chicopee will be detoured while the Davitt Memorial Bridge is replaced.
The 22News I-Team spoke with the project manager to find out why it's going to take so long, turns out there are a lot of elements in this project you may not be aware of.
Two years is how long it's expected to take to replace the Davitt Memorial Bridge in Chicopee that connects Chicopee Street to Chicopee center.
That's two years of detours for drivers.
"That's an extremely long time, it is going to be a very long time," said Debra Mitchell, Chicopee.
For some, the timeline sounds extreme, especially when you compare the 300 foot long bridge in Chicopee to the Empire State Building that stands at more than 1,200 feet, and was built in half the time, only 1 year and 45 days.
Or compare it to the Eiffel Tower, that also took a little more than two years to construct.
The 22News I-Team asked the project's Manager Shawn Clark to explain why the bridge will take so long.
"What makes this project so complicated to take two years, the built the Eiffel Tower in two years. it's a big bridge, there's water control, we're in the water, so you can only demolition the existing arch in increments," said Shawn Clark, bridge project manager.
Clark says bridge projects are unique because they're more of a linear project where you really have to do one thing at a time unlike other building projects where you can have a lot of people accomplishing a number of different tasks at once.
"You have to demolish the bridge, then you have to do footings, then you have to do piers, then abutments, then you have to set steel," Clark added.
The project also relies on other entities like utility companies and Mass D-O-T.
Clark says his contractors will be working 10 hours a day, 6 days a week to meet the deadline while those who rely on the bridge have no choice but to adjust to the detours.
"Two to two and a half years, yes it sounds like a long time, but what will happen is after a month we'll all be reprogrammed and it will be as if that's always been our route," said Margaret Modzelowski, the Ames Privilege Property Manager.
The completion date is scheduled for August 2014.
Click here for a look at your detour options.