PORTLAND — Construction of the new Veterans Memorial Bridge is entering a new phase with the delivery of the first of 361 large precast bridge segments Tuesday morning.

The segments range from 40 to 46 feet in length and from 8 to 10 feet in width. The Maine Department of Transportation said the shipments should have minimal impact on traffic.

There may be up to four deliveries a day through October but the Maine Department of Transportation expects little impact on traffic. The shipments will be spaced about 15 minutes apart to give workers time to off load the segments at the construction site. Officials say motorists on the northbound side of the Maine Turnpike and Interstate 295 south of Portland may experience some delays during the delivery time frame.

Construction on the bridge, which connects Portland’s West End to South Portland over the Fore River, began in July 2010.

Crews are expected to work longer hours in the coming months to install the precast segments before temperatures begin to freeze. This phase of the construction is expected to be completed by November.

The entire project is expected to be completed by the summer 2012.

For up to date travel information, go to www.VeteransMemorialBridge.org.