Holland Creek Bridge replacement discussed

Ladysmith workers forced to wait until spring

  • Aug. 30, 2011 2:00 p.m.

Work on a Holland Creek bridge will have to be put off until 2012 as the window to work in the creek is closing.

 

The Department of Fisheries states work is only allowed to be done between June 15 and September 15 of the calendar year to not disturb spawning habitat.

 

A follow up study of the Holland Creek bridge, the one around two kilometres from the Mackie Road trail head, is in need of replacing.

 

The pedestrian bridge was first examined in 2008 by Harold Engineering.

 

“At the time the bridge was noted as in poor condition and a recommendation was provided that the bridge be replaced within three years,” the report states.

 

“This evaluation has been carried out with the understanding that the bridge may remain in service for one more year while replacement plans are finalized.”

 

The latest evaluation was completed on April 7, 2011.

 

The engineers found splintered railings, evidence of rot, internal decay and that the concrete retaining wall has been partially ‘undermined.’

 

The report recommends no more than eight people should be on the bridge at one time and that no motorized vehicles or horses should cross the span. During discussion at the government services meeting on August 15, Mayor Rob Hutchins expressed concerns about the state of the bridge and questioned whether something could be done sooner than the 2012 budget with a second-hand catwalk. After some debate around the council table about what they wanted for the trail, one of the town’s most-cherished assets, Joe Friesenhan, director of public works, informed council the window to do work in the creek was closing and likely nothing could be done this year.

 

Friesenhan said the engineers ballparked the replacement at around $40,000 for a similar structure.

 

“Last year when the engineer looked at it, we thought we could do it for around half that,” said Friesenhan, noting the cost will go up or down depending on how elaborate the design for the replacement.

 

Friesenhan said since they are delayed, they will put together some different plans and designs for council to review and prepare.

 

The time needed to replace the bridge will also depend on the design, but Friesenhan said it should take about a week.

 

The town has ordered signs to tell people of the limit and crews are currently performing some repairs.

— Matthew Peterson