Work Progressing on I-10 Bridge Wiped Out by Ivan

Transportation officials say three lanes on a hurricane-damaged Interstate 10 bridge spanning Escambia Bay could be open by Thanksgiving.

This would drastically speed up recent predictions for the structure's repairs.

Last week, officials said traffic might be limited to one lane in each direction for years, until a new bridge could be built, but now they say the bridge can handle traffic on one eastbound lane and two westbound lanes.

In addition, they say a new six-lane replacement bridge could be built in two to three years.

Hurricane Ivan's storm surge ripped out huge sections of the bridge on September 16. It was closed until the westbound span was repaired and reopened to traffic going both ways on October 5.