Work is underway to replace the 61-year-old Salmon River Bridge on Highway 97 north of Prince George, Mike Morris, MLA for Prince George-McKenzie, and Shirley Bond, MLA for Prince George-Valemount, announced today on behalf of Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone.
“Having advocated for the replacement of the Salmon River Bridge since I was elected in 2013, I am extremely pleased to see work on the project begin,” Morris said. “Prince George is the centre of our resource economy and this bridge replacement will enhance our ability to diversify our resource development in Northern British Columbia.”
“Ensuring that our local infrastructure keeps pace with the demands of the resource sector is vitally important,” Bond said. “It is equally as important to ensure that our highways are safe for residents and tourists alike. This significant investment will send a strong message to industry that Northern B.C. has the transportation capacity necessary to accommodate our growing economy."
An $8-million contract for the project has been awarded to Surespan Construction of North Vancouver. Work is scheduled for completion in fall 2017.
As part of construction, the current bridge will be moved from its present highway alignment to provide a detour while the new bridge is constructed. This move will require an overnight closure of the highway, which is tentatively scheduled for late September or early October. More information will be provided to motorists as closure details are finalized.
Once the bridge is relocated, it will form a two-lane detour, which will remain in effect until the new bridge is completed. There may also be some short periods of single-lane alternating traffic during the start and end of the construction phase.
The old Salmon River Bridge is being replaced to handle the increase in commercial traffic. With a wider span and greater load capacity, the new bridge will support the movement of heavy loads required to service the resource sectors in the north. Removing the height restriction will also make it more accessible for oversized loads. The new bridge will have two full lanes and highway shoulders, as well as a pedestrian crossing.
This project is part of B.C. on the Move, government’s 10-year plan for the improvement of the province’s transportation network. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will invest almost $2.7 billion over the next three years to improve British Columbia’s transportation network.
B.C. on the Move is available online at www.gov.bc.ca/bconthemove
Follow the work of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure online at: www.tranbc.ca