A full closure of Gertrude Street at Kitsuksis Creek for vehicle traffic is required for the Gertrude Street bridge widening project, according to City of Port Alberni streets superintendent Wilf Taekema. The closure started on Feb. 3 and will run for three weeks.
“We need a full closure of the bridge because we’re excavating the abutments,” he said.
The bridge widening project will be completed by K&G Installations at a cost of $347,000. That cost has risen since the initial $249,500 approved in October.
City engineer Guy Cicon explained to city council in December that the increased costs were due to problems not identified when the project was tendered. The extra $97,000 Cicon requested will go towards a gas line relocation, the addition of abutment channels and replacement of deteriorating ballast wall timbers, rebar epoxy coating and revised pier timber support for girders.
According to Taekema, vehicle traffic wishing to get to Beaver Creek via Gertrude Street and Compton Road will need to use Johnston Road to River Road and then to Beaver Creek Road. Beaver Creek and Compton Road area traffic wishing to get to Gertrude Street will be detoured to River Road via Josephine Street or Beaver Creek Road.
Regarding resident concerns on traffic flow throughout the next three weeks, Taekema said that the city will make adjustments as needed.
“We’re going to monitor the situation starting [Feb. 3] and if it requires flaggers or anything else we’ll make those adjustments once we see how it looks like,” said Taekema.
“The pedestrian bridge will remain open and the trails will work around the bridge.”
Pathways under the bridge structure will also be closed periodically during construction for safety reasons.