250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 27, 2017 8:31 pm

Parsnip River Bridge to be Replaced

Sunday, October 30, 2016 @ 7:37 AM


Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris,  Transportation Minister Todd Stone ( with coffee) Mackenzie Mayor Pat Crook (in white shirt)   and some members of Council, look on as residents  examine  bridge plan – photo submitted

Mackenzie, B.C.- The Parsnip River Bridge  on Highway 97 north  will be  replaced,  and it is welcome news to Mackenzie Mayor Pat Crook.

“It’s great” says Mayor Crook   who says the new  crossing will improve safety  “It’ll double the width of the bridge so we won’t be cramming up against the edges when a semi is going over the bridge at the same time, or bumping into each other.”

The Parsnip River bridge was originally built in 1953. The  steel truss bridge will be replaced with a wider, open-top structure that can handle larger loads.  That means  current height restrictions will be eliminated and the bridge will have a greater capacity for heavier loads  needed to  service resource  industries such as forestry, mining oil and gas.

Mayor Crook says  a new Parsnip River crossing has been needed for  years “Everybody has always complained about that bridge and the Salmon Valley Bridge.(which is also being replaced)  And because of the size of vehicles that could travel the highway and the bigger equipment that can’t get through the bridges – this will open up the whole northeast of the province and bigger loads.”

The project is to be jointly funded  with the Federal Government contributing just over $13.6 million and the  Province of B.C.  contributing just over  $17.9 million .  It is expected construction of  the new  crossing will start soon  and be  complete  in  the summer of  2019.



It’s about time that bridge needed to be replaced 20 years ago

It is 2 years + 8 months away from the summer of 2019. The two piers are about 60 metres apart and the river bed is about 120m wide.

Can someone explain why it takes that long to construct a simple 2-lane bridge, along with road realignment?

Looks to me like they are spreading this out over a 2+ year fiscal period rather than potentially saving money by building it in a shorter period of time.

    first thing you have to consider is building a temp bridge to reroute traffic during construction, it is not in a simple place to do so. Second thing is when building river crossings the Ministry of Fishies gets their panties in a knot if you do anything to disturb the river during summer months. Third is the actual engineering and tendering process, each takes time to prepare and institute.

    The actual construction is just a small part of the time to get a job like this done.

      I understand your comments since my education and most of my professional background is in architectural/engineering design, estimating as well as project management. It is that background which caused me to ask the question, hoping that someone would be more familiar with this actual project which would cause it to take that long.

      There are many reasons which would make building a temporary bridge and road realignment an expensive alternative. We do not have to deal with that discussion because the image (you can click on it to enlarge it) shows that the new bridge will be built within a few metres to the south of the existing bridge which will mean it will not impact the utility lines to the north of the bridge and will likely avoid any but a minor encroachment of the private property on the approach when coming from PG and will likely not affect the properties on the other side of the Parsnip.

      As far as DFO goes, one season should be all that is needed to construct the supporting pier(s) and abutments.

      The reason for my question is to find out whether this project is still in the design and permitting phase or whether that part is complete and the project is ready to go to tender this winter with construction ready to start as soon as the snow is off the ground in 2017. That would then provide a 2-year construction window which should not be required to finish the new bridge. It would be required to remove the old bridge and decommission the existing approaches.

      That is important information for those who transport materials across that bridge and have to restrict their loads or reroute their transports to get around that pinch point.

      That info is not provided in this report.


    You know, you could just ask MoTI. It’s not like this is a state secret or anything.

Going north on the right side about 250 away under the river is the westcoast energy pipelines with 4 pipes crossing the river on the other side is private property with people living beside the bridge plus there are hydro lines crossing right beside the bridge

Err supposed to read 250 feet

Easily the most dangerous choke point in Northern BC and long overdue for upgrades. This will be huge for PG as it will open us up for companies doing large scale construction in the northeast of the province.

No problem finding money for site C but they can’t find the money for roads and bridges. If the people of this province had any say they most likely would prefer the money being spent on roads and infrastructure. I hear people crying that Trudeau is going to spend billions of dollars but this province thinks nothing of spending 10-15 billion dollars to build site C. Bunch of losers.

    How did site C factor into a bridge being built and for your info oldman1 these 2 projects have separate funding from 2 very different sources

    I think we are a bunch of winners by building a project which will provide renewable energy for the future energy efficiency and economic benefits of BC.

      We ‘would’ be winners if that energy was needed here in BC. As it was back in the 1960’s, when we had a treasure trove of untapped and under utilised natural resources awaiting development, and actual markets we could sell products derived from them into. What great new developments are in the works now, with a shrinking resource base in forestry, and ever more onerous restrictions on anything to do with mining or oil and gas developments? The energy from Site C will, in all likelihood, be destined for export. Which will, also in all likelihood, further depress electrical energy prices in the market into which that power will be sold ~ the USA. How will that be of real benefit to us, considering that the construction of this project will drive up the prices of everything here in BC all the time it’s being built? And those prices WON’T come down when it’s done, and the jobs are gone. So where’s the benefit? I don’t see any.

    Oldman, have you been out on the highways? I note big improvements. Now we’re getting Salmon and Parsnip replaced, is that not a good thing?
    And on the municipal level, I haven’t seen very many potholes lately, have you?

The funding does come from two different sources ..the right pocket and the left pocket of taxpayers.

Grizzly2 -They always throw us a few crumbs in the north. The Salmon bridge is a very small project compared to what has been done in the lower mainland. To announce some of these small projects with a completion date of three yrs away is laughable.

Comments for this article are closed.