Gertrude Street bridge opens

The City of Port Alberni opened the bridge to vehicle traffic as of late afternoon on April 25.

The first car drives across the newly reconstructed Gertrude Street bridge on the afternoon of April 25.

The first car drives across the newly reconstructed Gertrude Street bridge on the afternoon of April 25.

The Gertrude Street vehicle bridge over Kitsuksis Creek is now open to vehicle traffic.

The bridge, which was tendered out in the fall to K&G Installations at a cost of $249,500, will now cost the City of Port Alberni $489,000, according to a report by city engineer Guy Cicon.

“The bridge is substantially completed and open for traffic.  In the next two days we will complete the restoration work, landscaping and some extensions of some barriers,” said Cicon.

“There will be a load limit that prevents heavy industrial traffic, like logging trucks, from going on it.”

The load limit will be 45,000 kg, Cicon added.

The project originally entailed widening the bridge to allow for bike lanes on either side. The original scope of work required in order to do so included removing the timber wheel guard rails and sidewalks, extending the timber substructure and installing two steel girders for the length of the bridge, resurfacing the bridge and installing a railing and guard rail on each side of the bridge for cyclists.

Cicon had asked council in December for an additional $97,500 for revised pier support for girders, costs to relocated a Fortis gas line, rebar epoxy coating, the addition of abutment channels and replacement of deteriorating ballast wall timbers and a contigency for further unknowns. This raised the cost of the bridge to $347,000

The increasing scope of the work has also led to delays, with the bridge having been fully closed since the beginning of February to open only by the end of April—a total of 11.5 weeks.

According to the city engineer’s report, an extra $141,500 worth of work has been identified since: natural gas line support works, precast concrete panel connection brackets, asphalt surface removal and wood deck repairs, installation of the new ballast wall timbers, drainage and structure backfill, professional structural engineering support and city works project support.

The report will come before council at tonight’s meeting.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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