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Source: CNN

Repainting of the Mackinac Bridge south tower is set to begin next week.

The two-year project comes after repainting on the north tower wrapped up.

As was the case with the north tower, this will be the first time the south tower has been completely stripped and repainted the iconic ivory color.

"Right now, we expect the repainting to begin sometime the week of April 22, as weather allows," said Mackinac Bridge Authority Executive Secretary Bob Sweeney. "As with the north tower repainting, this work will require lane closures on the bridge near the tower, and some intermittent closures while Seaway [Painting] stages equipment, so we ask that customers use extra caution when crossing."

Closures on the northbound lanes will be lifted on Fridays and on southbound lanes on Sundays during peak traffic weekends.

Lane closures also will be removed as needed for other high-traffic volume times, such as holidays.

The project will begin with stripping and painting on some of the tower's interior "cells," and installation of an enclosure for painting the outside of the tower.

The portions of the tower below the bridge deck are expected to be painted in 2020.

The original paint is lead-based and Seaway is required to contain 100 percent of the paint as it is removed and ship it to an appropriate landfill facility. The new paint, which is zinc-based, is expected to last at least 35 years, with periodic maintenance.

The nearly $6.5 million project is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2020.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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