Bridge construction in Peace River continuing smoothly

On January 27th, the Peace River Rotary Club met to discuss the bridge’s— and other projects around Peace River— progress. The last update was in September, where two roundabouts were mentioned, alongside the bridge’s progress as of 2019’s summer.

It was stated that the $148 million twinning project was going smoothly, and the meeting this month reassured that the project was on budget and on schedule for its milestone completion.

Tyler Wilson (pictured), bridge manager, came to present updates about the bridge and associated projects. He talked about ‘phase one’ of the bridge construction, which involves the new bridge, the CN Arch, and the other structures spanning 98 Street going west. The second phase is some future projects along east hill.

“Phase one is currently underway, phase two is postponed for now, for future years, as we just figure out what’s the best geometric arrangement and get the funding. But phase one is underway right now, with anticipated completion in fall of 2020.”

In terms of the bridge’s construction, piers 1 through 3 were constructed earlier in 2019, with 4 and 5 constructed in the fall. The main steel for the project has been launched. Looking forward, the framework and deck prep for winter and spring of 2020 is coming up, as well as a deck paved for summer.

“The more riskier elements are complete,” Wilson stated, “we’re predominantly out of the river, we’re using the ice platform to erect the pedestrian structure, so we have two or three months to go. But yeah, the rest of it now should be… I’m not going to say cookie-cutter ’cause nothing is like that, but it should be a little bit less risky.”

The CN arch has been largely completed, as it has been grouted in. The arch still needs a membrane— which is just a waterproofing layer— as well as foundation preparation.

“So right now, the structure’s up, we have to finish the MSE wall and the earthworks behind it. Actually create the continuous ramp coming from the main span to go overtop of the CN arch, and that’ll be going on this year.”

The membrane for the CN arch has been left for later this year. The CN arch is expected to open up to traffic in fall, coinciding with when the 98 street bridge and the two new roundabouts become open to traffic. One roundabout will be on 98 street, and another is to be on Grouard trail.

“It’ll all be open at the same time. Once we’re across the river— across the main span— then we’ll continue onto the CN Arch and we’ll open up that entire eastbound lane in one shot.”

For Shaftesbury’s Highway 2 (over highway 684) bridge, both the west bound lane and east bound lane have been constructed, with the only thing left to do for the bridge is to place a membrane, as well as the asphaltic concrete pavement (ACP), as opportunity to place them was lost in 2019.

“The temperature and conditions weren’t right to really get down the waterproofing,” Wilson stated, “so what we did is we just left it for the year. We’re planning to come back in spring of 2020. We just put a skiff of ACP on it just to not introduce more wear than necessary on the concrete surface.”

For the currently existing bridge across the river, it was also discussed at the meeting, as it’s in need of a reworking.

“Yeah, it’s due for a rehabilitation, it’s in the mid point of its lifecycle, so now we’re just trying to find the most opportune time to be able to do that. So right now, it’s just sorting out funding for that structure, along with everything else in the province.”

The new bridge’s life expectancy is between 75 to 100 years.

-Ridley Reiser, Trending 55 Newsroom

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