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Cameron Street Bridge Officially Open, But Not To Traffic Till This Afternoon

By 250 News

Monday, August 24, 2009 10:00 AM

The Cameron Street Bridge north end
Prince George, B.C. – It has been nearly four years since traffic was able to cross the Nechako at Cameron Street, but all that will change today.
While reps from all three levels of government are on hand to share in the official opening this hour, the new Cameron Street bridge won’t be open to general traffic until about 2:00 this afternoon.
The final bill for the new bridge is expected to be $10.5 million. Of that, the City of Prince George is paying $8.5 million dollars. The Federal and Provincial Government’s each contributed $1 million.  In addition, the Province also contributed $96,800 through ICBC Safety Grant and $50,000 through a Cycling Infrastructure Partnership Program grant.
The new bridge, built on the original piers, features a  2.5 meter wide sidewalk that allows dual traffic flow for both cyclists and pedestrians separated from vehicle traffic.
Unlike its predecessor, the new bridge will offer two way traffic.
The construction of the new bridge has been ongoing for 15 months.
 “This improved Cameron Street Bridge provides a vital link for our industries and will cut their transportation costs at a time when they most need a boost” said Mayor Dan Rogers. “It also provides motorists, cyclists and pedestrians with a safe and efficient route between the core of the city and the Hart Highway and industrial complex on the north side” he added. Mayor Rogers also applauded the local engineers and contractors and their employees who provided a major portion of the expertise and labour to complete this project as he opened the bridge today.
A traffic circle or roundabout is located at the north end of the bridge at the intersection of North Nechako Road and PG Pulpmill Road. The roundabout is supposed to provide safe and efficient traffic control as traffic doesn’t have to come to a stop.  (  at right,  road  signs  warn of traffic circle at north end of bridge)
The total cost of the completed project is estimated at $10.5 million, of which the City of Prince George is the major funder at $8.35 million. The Province of BC and the Government of Canada contributed $1 million each under the Municipal/Rural Infrastructure Fund.
The bridge will open to general traffic at about 2:00pm today, although some aspects of the project such as landscaping are still to be completed.  

New Bridge Facts:

·        The new bridge is 208 meters long. 
·        The bridge is constructed with continuous steel girders for durability and easy maintenance. 
·        The bridge superstructure consists of steel plate girders with a composite concrete deck made from silica fume concrete, which holds up well against corrosion and freezing. 
·        The bridge is designed to last at least 75 years.
·        The demolition of the wooden bridge and construction of the new superstructure took place without any instream work.
·        When opened for traffic it is anticipated the bridge will handle daily traffic volumes of 14,000 vehicles, or 1,700 to 2,200 vehicles per hour. 
·        Using this route will reduce green house gas emissions by 1,100 tonnes annually compared to the alternate route which has been in use during the closure of this crossing.
First crossing at Cameron Street was built in 1916, the bridge most residents remember was built in 1931.
Although a span of the old wooden bridge has been dismantled and is being “stored”, where it will be re-constructed and displayed has not been determined.

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