KENORA, Ont. — Emergency repairs to the Portage Bay Bridge will force heavy-duty vehicles to take a dangerous detour for at least three months.
About $250,000 worth of repairs are needed according to Warren Spencer, city operations manager. A hole in the concrete deck of the bridge has exposed the steel mesh, he adds. On closer inspection, a number of concrete faults were also discovered.
“It seems to have developed overnight,” says Spencer. The deck needs to be replaced along with repairs to steel flanges and steel beams.
The immediate action was to close the east lane and restrict traffic to light-duty only. The goal is to have the bridge back in service in October before winter sets in.
The most convenient alternate route runs to the west of the bridge along the Canadian Pacific Railway’s right of way and then ties into the road at the wild rice plant. However, this route has hazards of its own — it crosses the rail line at a point not recognized by either the railway or the city. Drivers take that route at their own risk.
The more inconvenient, but safest, and most likely detour, is along Norman Drive, Spencer concludes.
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