PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. — Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation advises that a regular inspection has revealed the need to replace a major overpass near the City of Portage la Prairie to maintain road safety.
A provincial crew inspecting the CN Rail overpass on the Trans-Canada Highway near Portage la Prairie noted structural concerns. The overpass was immediately closed to all traffic pending further examination.
A closer study of the bridge by a consulting engineer revealed a cable used as part of the load distribution system had separated, reducing the structures ability to safely handle heavier vehicles.
Based on the report, the province has opted to replace the bridge at an estimated cost of $6 to $7 million. The project, which includes preliminary design work, demolition of the old structure and construction of the new overpass, is expected to take about one year, weather permitting.
All motorists travelling on the Trans-Canada Highway are advised the overpass will not be reopening due to safety concerns.
During construction traffic along the highway will be detoured through Portage. Upgrades and safety enhancements along the alternate route will have to be made prior to the detour being open. Work is expected to be completed by the end of October.
Plans to temporarily open the overpass to light vehicle traffic while the new bridge was being planned were dropped when further study showed the structure could not safely support snow removal equipment needed to maintain the road in winter conditions.
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