MADISON (WKOW) -- A Beltline highway bridge with some history of being clipped by semi-trucks with taller loads is being replaced over the next three months, with enhanced safety expected in the long term, but some driver inconvenience immediately.
Department of Transportation officials say replacing the Seminole Highway bridge begins Wednesday just after midnight, with work continuing through November.
The span is currently marked as low clearance. DOT project manager Wayne Chase says the bridge's current clearance of just over fifteen feet, will increase to more than sixteen feet.
In January 2006, a semi's taller load clipped the bridge and knocked out bridge chunks, compromising support beams. Bridge repairs took place.
Nearby restaurateur Jim Franks says his long-time business weathered diverted traffic as a result of the repair work, and maintained close-to-normal customer levels.
Franks says customer loyalty to his 84-year old establishment should again help to pull the restaurant through some inconvenience in the coming months.
DOT officials say highway off-ramps will remain open during the bridge closure.
Chase says planned work on the beltline in 2015 is expected to lower the highway surface, increasing the replacement bridge's clearance to more than seventeen feet.
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