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The second and largest of three planned Canalside bridges is nearly complete.

The bridge straddles the historically aligned canals under construction at the former Memorial Auditorium site.

The steel Lloyd Street Bridge, which arrived in seven parts, needs only its deck to be finished.

Ice skaters are expected this winter on the canals beneath the bridges.

“We’re still counting on ice in November,” said Tom Dee, president of Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., the state agency overseeing the project.

The new bridge is 100 feet long and 55 feet wide – larger than the Whipple truss bridge that extends over the Commercial Slip.

Work on installing the third bridge could begin as soon as next week.

Dee said the newest bridge could be its own destination.

“We’ve always envisioned using the bridge as a place to hang out or do something. Typically you think of a bridge as a place to go from point A to point B. I think of it as being its own space,” Dee said.

The bridges are the latest signs of progress at the site.

“When passengers go by, they now see progress above grade – the granite starting to take shape, and the elevated bridges and the platforms that accept them. It won’t be long now before you see grass and paths where the roads are, so it will look habitable, and by September you will see a lot of the site work done,” Dee said.

The “ice slab pour” is scheduled to occur early next month. The work will include installation of the canal’s refrigeration system with insulation, rebar, piping and concrete.

“That is the topping of the whole canal, what the water and ice will rest on,” Dee said. “That’s the finished form.”

email: msommer@buffnews.com