Sunday, August 24, 2008

For east side residents it's a mini version of the circle tour

The shortest distance between to points is a straight line, unless of course you live east of the Hays Creek Bridge. Repairs to the east side bridge will continue through to near the end of September, requiring Podunkians to make left or right hand turns to find their way to the downtown core.

The Daily News provided an update on the project in their August 1st edition.

Bridge closure to last many weeks
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Tuesday, August 05, 2008

It is going to cost the City of Prince Rupert $300,000 to fix the Hays Creek bridge on Sixth Avenue, - a bridge that will certainly need to be fixed again in the longer term.

At a city council meeting on July 28, councillors voted unanimously to go ahead with the maintenance work on the bridge, meaning the structure will be closed for the next seven weeks.
General manager of engineering and public works, Bob Thompson, told the Daily News he expected the bridge will need fixing again, "in six or seven years."

"Because it is a heritage trestle bridge they continually need upgrading."

Prince Rupert is home to three trestle bridges, structures that are maintained solely by the city with no funding from the provincial ministry of highways and transportation.

Broadwater Industries, a Prince Rupert company that specializes in large civil construction projects, will fix the bridge.

In years past, the company has worked on the Prince Rupert Cruise Terminal, the regional sewage treatment facility and the Alaska Ferry Terminal renovations.

This is not the first time a trestle bridge has needed urgent repair in the city. In 2005, Morse Bridge on Second Avenue was repaired by the city at a cost of half a million dollars.
That trestle bridge was in bad shape then and needed to be shut down for several weeks for repair.

That job was fraught with all sorts of issues - the city had to ask for permission from both CN Rail and the Prince Rupert Port Authority before the work cold go ahead.

Thompson did add that the city does monitor the bridges as often as it can and once every five years the city sends a climbing inspection team to look for damage and vulnerabilities under the planks.

The bridge closure might cause headaches for 600 residents dependant on the bridge for their daily commute, but Thompson was convinced that residents would deal with the situation like they always do, by finding alternative routes into town.

“Most people are pretty practical and realize this is work that needs to be done.”

Work on the bridge was supposed to begin last week, however the city engineering department decided against that, give there was an upcoming long weekend. The city did not want to cause any problems for B. C. Day.

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