The province says this lift bridge in Placentia won’t be fully repaired until later this summer. — Transcontinental Media file photo
Repairs on a weakened lift bridge in Placentia are not going to be finished until late July or early August, says the town’s mayor.
Bill Hogan said the town received an update Tuesday from the province on the work, and prefabrication is taking place away from the site.
“We’re very unhappy with it. It was supposed to be finished by the end of June,” Hogan said.
“We have a very busy summer here with all the festivities we have going on. The heavy stuff starts (today) and to have the bridge interfering with that when we were promised it wouldn’t, it’s procrastination of the worst kind with that crowd.”
The Sir Ambrose Shea lift bridge, built in 1961, has a 13,000-kilogram weight restriction in place, which will remain for the duration of the construction work.
Once completed, the bridge capacity will be restored to 25,000 kilograms for tandem vehicles and 37,000 kilograms for combination vehicles.
Hogan said the bridge is central to the town and is crucial to transportation around the area.
In May, the provincial government awarded a $1.7-million contract for the work.
A previous plan to replace the bridge was scrapped when the only tender came in at nearly double the province’s $24-million estimate for the project.
With the two prices so out of whack, the province decided to extend the life of the current bridge and seek a redesign with a plainer look.
Hogan said he hopes the repairs will extend the life of the bridge for four to six years and a new tender for replacement will be called later this summer.
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The weight restriction was placed on the structure in late February.
Video surveillance camera installed
The measures were a result of a structural evaluation by the Department of Transportation and Works.
However, when the bridge was inspected in 2011, its overall condition was described as fair, with a reinspection to be done in one year.
But the bridge inspector noted the report was unchanged from 2004 and ’07, except it was tentatively scheduled to be replaced in 2011.
That did not happen.
Although the overall condition was fair, the substructure was found to be in poor condition, including severe corrosion to the sheet pile ice walls surrounding the piers and very severe disintegration to ends of both piers.
Other problems noted included numerous cracks, spalling, erosion and severe rutting.
This spring, the department installed a 24-hour video surveillance camera capable of licence plate recognition to enforce the weight restriction.
Look for The Weekend Telegram, which will include a special report on the state of more than 700 bridges across the province.