No timeline or cost on Placentia bridge repairs

James McLeod
Published on August 12, 2014
The Placentia lift bridge was out of commission on Aug. 4 and government officials were trying to get it fixed after a mechanical failure left it hanging at an angle. — Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram

Life has mostly returned to normal in Placentia, but more than a week after the town’s lift bridge broke, the government doesn’t know when it’ll be fixed, or how much it will cost.

Transporation Minister Nick McGrath wasn’t available to do an interview Monday, but a spokeswoman said that the bridge is being worked on.

“We are working with a contractor to secure the supply of a new drive shaft coupling which caused the failure last week resulting in the bridge lowering on the north side while the south side remained raised during the completion of a lift,” spokeswoman Adrienne Luther wrote in an email.

“The full cost of repairs has not yet been determined.”

On Aug. 3, a piece of equipment broke while the lift bridge was in the raised position, and one side of it slowly dropped, until it was hanging at an awkward angle.

On Thursday, the bridge was re-opened for vehicle and pedestrian traffic after workers managed to stabilize it in the lowered position.

There’s no sense of how long it’ll be before it gets back to lifting.

Several fishing vessels were stranded in the port in the bay just above the bridge, but Placentia Mayor Wayne Power said that some of them have managed to sneak under it by removing gear from the tops of the boat.

“I know a couple of the larger vessels made modifications to their boats in order to get out,” he said.

The provincial government is spending more than $40 million to construct a new bridge, which is slated to be completed in 2016.

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