CORNER BROOK, Nfld. — The Department of Works, Services and Transportation, opened the Trans Canada Highway west of Corner Brook, in the area of Pinchgut Brook, to all traffic late last week.
“We finished installing a bailey bridge at Pinchgut Brook, thereby allowing heavy vehicles, such as transport trucks, to travel over that section of the highway,” says Minister, Jim Walsh. “We have been working steadily over the past few days to get this bridge installed. This temporary structure is now ready to take traffic and we have placed traffic lights on either side of the bridge to facilitate traffic flow.”
A section of the Trans Canada Highway was closed part of Tuesday when the bridge at Pinchgut Brook partially collapsed as a result of high water levels. On Tuesday evening, departmental engineers deemed it safe for light passenger vehicles, such as cars and pick-ups, to use one lane of the bridge.
Walsh says the single-lane bailey bridge will be in place for approximately eight weeks, until the department can replace it with a permanent structure. During this time the department will design the replacement bridge and call tenders for its construction.
“After the tender is awarded, we will install a two-lane bailey bridge to act as a bypass while the permanent structure is being constructed,” says Walsh. “This will allow us to keep the Trans Canada open in both directions until the new bridge is finished.” He says the estimated cost to replace the collapsed bridge is $750,000 to $1 million. He expects the permanent structure will be finished in September.
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