Traffic delays expected next week on Veterans Bridge between Portland, South Portland

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PORTLAND — Drivers who use the southbound Veterans Memorial Bridge can expect delays starting Feb. 9 when one lane will be closed at times because of construction.

The Maine Department of Transportation said the first lane closure is scheduled Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting, while crews work on concrete placements at three sets of piers on the South Portland side of the bridge.

The one-lane closure will occur periodically over the next four months, MDOT said in a press release.

The new bridge over the Fore River is expected to open in July 2012. Removal of the existing bridge, which connects Portland’s West End with South Portland and Interstate 295, will be completed in December 2012.