PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Demolition crews will wait for daylight to remove the first major component of the 90-year-old Memorial Bridge between Maine and New Hampshire.

Workers had planned to remove the 2-million-pound lift span on Tuesday between 8 p.m. and midnight, but the preparation work is taking longer than expected.

New Hampshire transportation spokesman Bill Boynton says the span will be lifted onto a waiting barge sometime between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wednesday. High tide Wednesday is 11:39 a.m. and Boynton says that time would be optimal if all preparation work is complete.

Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez will be on hand to witness the removal and get an update on the bridge replacement project.

A new bridge is expected to open in July 2013.

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