Corner Brook bridge to be watched after rain forces closure

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The Main Street Bridge was closed to traffic for about eight hours Sunday before city workers could get water levels to recede.

The Main Street Bridge in Corner Brook was closed due to high water on Sunday. The bridge will remain closed until further notice. Motorists and pedestrians have been asked to use alternate routes. — Photos by Geraldine Brophy/The Western Star

The bridge, located in the downtown core of Corner Brook, was closed around 8:30 a.m. Sunday due to high water from heavy rain that persisted throughout the night in western Newfoundland. Motorists and pedestrians had to find alternate routes while city crews dealt with the high water levels.

“Yes the bridge is open, but everybody is keeping an eye on everything because you know the water levels can change on such short notice,” Gina MacArthur, communications officer with the City of Corner Brook, said Sunday afternoon.

MacArthur said city crews will monitor the water levels at the Main Street Bridge throughout the night but couldn’t say at deadline if the structure sustained significant damage.

“We’re always keeping an eye on the bridge. As you know, it wasn’t built yesterday,” she said. “So, we’re constantly monitoring the condition of that bridge. I couldn’t tell you if any damage was done to it today, but I do know we monitor it on a regular basis. We’re looking at it all the time, so after something like this I’m sure they will be taking a close look at it again tomorrow.”

According to MacArthur, city crews will be busy over the next few days cleaning up the mess left behind by the heavy rain.

Crews are salting and sanding roads and will begin placing signs in areas where there are potholes and pavement upheaval as a result of the major runoff experienced Sunday.

As weather conditions permit overnight, according to MacArthur, crews will begin cutting ice and removing snow wherever possible.

All emergencies related to city infrastructure should be reported by calling 637-1666.

While city crews had a busy day, highway conditions in the Birchy Narrows area east of Deer Lake proved to be less than ideal with at least one motor vehicle accident reported to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

On Sunday morning, police and Department of Transportation officials were on the scene of a single-vehicle accident where traffic had been stopped temporarily to allow crews to remove a vehicle from a ditch on the side of the highway.

A spokesman for the RCMP said it appears the driver of the vehicle was a victim of hydroplaning after water began spilling over the highway as a result of a blocked overflow pipe in the area.

Organizations: Main Street Bridge, RCMP, Department of Transportation

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Birchy Narrows Deer Lake

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