The digging for soil borings for a bridge seems like a routine process, but that process is not so simple near the Peace Bridge.
The barge with a giant crane on it is visible to thousands of Thruway Niagara Section commuters this week. It's needed for the soil borings that are part of an intricate process of expansion.
To build the new ramps from the Peace Bridge Plaza to the north and south-bound lanes of the Niagara Section, the pedestrian bridge for the Riverwalk has to be removed and a new pedestrian bridge built.
"If you consider the fact that the pedestrian bridge is going to go over CSX and the Thruway, it's a pretty long span," said DOT Program Manager Maria Lehman.
"We need to get soil borings and get a profile of what it looks like and because of the steepness there, you can't do it off the shoulder of the Thruway, you've got to do it off a barge."
Lehman says she isn't sure what renting the barge costs by the day.
If everything goes according to plan, construction on the 200-foot long bridge will start this fall, part of a $35 million project for the new ramps.