Salmon River Bridge Project Going to Tender
Prince George, B.C. – The $24 million dollar project to replace the Salmon River Bridge north of Prince George is expected to start this fall, and the Province has just put the project to tender.
“We expect to award a contract shortly thereafter and get that bridge replaced” says Minister of Transportation Todd Stone.
The new bridge will be wider, have a longer span, have a sidewalk for pedestrians, and a pedestrian underpass at either end to accommodate those who like to recreate on the river during the summer.
The project was first announced last July, and is expected to be complete by late 2017.
The Salmon Valley Heritage Society has been asking that the existing blue bridge, ( first built in 1954) be honoured in some way. Minister Todd Stone says staff have been working with area residents to see what might be done “I certainly am very well aware that locals have expressed a very deep and passionate with, and an affinity for, the existing blue bridge, so while the existing blue bridge will not be formally , in any structural manner, incorporated into the new design, staff is looking at are their parts of the existing bridge or certain aspects of the existing bridge that could be retained in some manner. Some have asked for the new bridge, if possible, to be blue, itself and I don’t think that’s going to be possible, except for perhaps for looking at things like the railing, or the underbelly or something. We certainly want to respect peoples desire to hold on to the heritage value and the memories that people have of the existing blue bridge and those discussions are underway. We certainly have an open mind.”
The Salmon River Bridge is one of three major transportation projects in the Prince George area.
Construction of the $44 million dollar widening of Highway 97 from Stone Creek to Red Rock continues ” That project is on schedule, we haven’t encountered any significant challenges there, so we’re on schedule to have that completed as originally planned” says Minister Stone.
Then there’s the widening of Highway 16 between Blackwater Road and Bunce Road, a project that is estimated to cost $21 million. The project will see 3.4 lane kilometers 4 laned. “We are just finalizing the design ” says Minister Stone, “The utility moves are going to be complex, but we will get them done, through this year. We expect to actually go out to tender on that project in November-December of this year and construction would start at the beginning of the construction season in 2017 and that project will likely span most of 2017 into 2018.”