Tender coming soon for installment of new Humber Village bridge

Gary Kean
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The bridge leading to Humber Village.

CORNER BROOK  There may be some inconvenience in store for residents before all is said and done, but the folks living in Humber Village will soon have a new bridge to their community on the Humber River.

Repairing the bridge has been a top priority for the unincorporated community for years.

Now, the board of directors that runs the private community has secured a $500,000 line of credit with the Bank of Montreal to go with the $425,000 in cash reserves it has set aside to repair the well-worn bridge structure.

Andrew May, the board’s chair, said the bridge committee has reached a purchase agreement to buy new decking for the current bridge. He said the cost of $495,000 was “economical” and the board is satisfied it has gotten a good deal on a bridge that will serve the residents well.

A tender will soon be issued for the installation contract.

May said there is also a contingency budget for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise once work on the project commences.

“We feel we are in a good position financially to do this within our resources and, in fact, we expect not to use up all the credit we have available,” said May.

Humber Village will use up its cash reserve before dipping into the credit being made available through the bank.

Work is expected to take between four to six weeks and is hoped to be done this fall. It will be postponed until next spring if it can’t be done this year for some reason.

The project will temporarily pose access challenges to residents and visitors since the bridge is the only way to and from Humber Village. May said ensuring children get to school will be a priority, but some folks may have to leave early and come back late on occasion during the installation.

The details of how the reduced access will be managed will be announced publicly later.

May said some people may consider leaving their vehicles on the Trans-Canada Highway side of the Humber River and some may even cross the river by boat during the construction.

“I can foresee people making their own decisions as to how to do that, but it remains to be seen what the different contractors are going to propose in terms of managing access,” he said.

The new bridge decking will feature all galvanized steel components, removing the problem of  timber now used on the bridge deteriorating over time. During construction, the contractor will examine all of the girders holding the structure up to see what remedial work can be carried out as the project unfolds.

The steel panels that will cover the bridge will have a non-slip, textured surface. That will make it more comfortable to walk and drive over and will provide more protection to the understructure than the current grid-style decking.

The current bridge has a driving track that is 10 feet wide and a walking path that is 28 inches wide. The new bridge will have a driving lane that is 11 feet wide and a pedestrian walkway that will be five feet wide.

In 2012, Humber Village’s residents voted to beomce a municipality but the province turned down the application because of a "lack of consensus" among residents.

May said there is “widespread support” for the bridge project and a small number of people have asked that the bridge project be approved at a shareholders meeting, but most people have indicated to the board they do not feel a meeting is necessary.

“We’re confident we have the mandate to do it,” said May. “It’s my experience, based on communications I have had with shareholders that this is the right bridge for Humber Village and it’s time for us to go ahead and do it.”

The project will mean a hike in the annual assessments paid by the 60 or so households in Humber Village during the eight-year term of the bank loan. Villagers currently pay $1,700 annually and May said the revised assessment will add on another $600 or $700, with the revised amount payable in two installments.

This rate is still lower than what property owners pay at neighbouring Humber Valley Resort, where May said the annual fee is in the vicinity of $3,300 plus HST. He also said it is comparable to property tax rates paid in Corner Brook.

Also serviced by the bridge are three houses downriver from Humber Village at Marbleview Estates and a cabin and residence further up the river. There are also several parcels of vacant land outside of Humber Village, the owners of which pay an assessment for the right to use Humber Village infrastructure, including the bridge.


*** Updated to fix line concerning municipal status vote ***

Organizations: Bank of Montreal, Trans-Canada Highway, Humber Valley Resort

Geographic location: Humber Village, CORNER BROOK, May.Humber Village Humber River

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Recent comments

  • Barrelman
    August 18, 2013 - 00:13

    I can remember when the bridge was opened. W.J. Lundrigan was there with former premier J.R. Smallwood to officially open the bridge built by Max Lundrigan. He intended to raise sheep on the other side of the Lower Humber and develop a community there to help pay the cost of building and maintaining his bridge. The sheep farming venture never happened, but Humber Village was popular for the handful of 'snobs' who wanted to escape Corner Brook's taxes and populace while commuting to their businesses, jobs and facilities in the city without sharing in the cost of municipal infrastructure. Given the low annual fees they pay (compared to municipal taxes) for minimal service and bridge maintenance, no wonder they don't want local government. My take is that municipal government should be imposed on Humber Village. Until then, the province should erect a toll booth on the section of road from the bridge to the TCH and set the money aside for the day, when it comes, the cost of maintaining/replacing the bridge becomes too great an expense for Humber Village residents and they turn to the provincial government for help.

    • IAMtheJIB
      August 19, 2013 - 08:19

      Toll booth? I don't get it? These people pay taxes like everyone else in this province and country. They pay federal and provincial income tax, they pay sales tax on anything they buy, they pay a tax to their own community for maintenance and services provided, not unlike the property tax we pay to Corner Brook yet you think they don't contribute to anything? They contribute just as much as we do. They don't pay taxes to the City of Corner Brook agreed, but they also don't have water/sewer services, garbage collection, snow clearing, fire fighting, and the list goes on, from the City of Corner Brook. If you think they should be penalized simply because they live outside of town and come here to spend their money, your part of the current problem with Corner Brooks economic development.

  • Dave Sharpe
    August 17, 2013 - 10:58

    Actually we voted for municipality status, you have your facts wrong. The vote was not even close.