It’s becoming an August long weekend tradition. Once again, the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario will repair and expand one of the overpasses on Highway 417 using the rapid replacement technology, the MTO announced yesterday.

“It’s becoming so old hat that not too many people showed up at our information night because it’s no longer state of the art anymore,” said Kevin Gibbs, project manager for planning and design with the MTO.

In 2007, the MTO made engineering history in Ottawa when the bridge over Island Park Drive was lifted out and replaced by a new structure built a short distance away. The entire operation was successfully completed within 17 hours and caused relatively minor traffic disruption compared to a traditional rehabilitation project.

Last year, the Clyde Avenue overpass was replaced using the same technology. This summer, the Carling Avenue overpass will be replaced starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1. The procedure will force the Queensway to be closed overnight, but one lane should be reopened by 11 a.m. Sunday morning. Carling Avenue will be closed on Sunday afternoon in order to give the heavy lift equipment time to get in place.

While the procedure is becoming an annual event in Ottawa, the technology has not yet been used elsewhere in the province.

Manny Goetz, an engineer consultant with McCormick Rankin said the MTO is looking at other areas that it could be done.

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