Haisla Bridge - to renovate or to rebuild

Haisla Bridge – to renovate or to rebuild

Even after rehabilitation the current bridge might not cope if LNG goes ahead in Kitimat

Kitimat council faces a difficult task in deciding the future of the Haisla bridge, says mayor Phil Germuth.

Built in 1954, the structure is in generally good shape but it does require seismic upgrades and other significant work which would extend its service life for 30 years.

The total bill, including annual maintenance expenditures over that 30-year period, is pegged at $12.6 million, estimates an engineering report commissioned by the district earlier this year.

But council also has to consider whether the bridge, even after rehabilitation and improvements, would be sufficient for the kind of industrial traffic that would be generated should LNG Canada decide to go ahead with its massive liquefied natural gas plant, said Germuth.

A new structure would be one allowing taller traffic, a key consideration for the movement of equipment and supplies.

“A rehabilitated bridge would give us another 30 years, but a new one would have a 70-year lifespan,” Germuth noted.

On balance, he continued, a new structure would be the best option for the area’s long-term needs.

Yet at a projected cost of more than $50 million, it’s an expenditure that’s out of the district’s reach, requiring the assistance of senior governments.

“We’re monitoring grant opportunities and we’d be looking for community partnerships with First Nations and industry,” said Germuth.

Traditionally, a project of this size would be cost-shared, one-third by a municipality, one-third by the provincial government and one-third by the federal government, with the district first having a business plan signed off by the province before approaching the federal government.

Germuth acknowledged that a decision by LNG Canada to proceed with its project would help spur the case for a new structure.

“Ideally, then, you’d want it to be finished before that project starts,” he said.

Germuth added that background work such as continued access to Kitimat Rod and Gun Club property and new approaches has already taken place so that council is aware of the large scope of work required.

The engineering assessment prepared for the district by COWI North America pegged estimated seismic upgrades at $3.282 million, a figure that includes a 50 per cent contingency allowance.

That estimate was developed by comparing similar projects.

“A cost-effective retrofit strategy to meet the assumed performance criteria could be to seismically isolate the superstructure from the substructure,” the assessment indicated.

That would include replacing the eight current truss span bearings with seismic isolation bearings.

Rehabilitation itself of the current structure could cost up to $5 million, excluding a 50 per cent contingency allowance.

Crucial to rehabilitation is the re-coating of the bridge steel, identified as a high priority by COWI, followed by replacing the steel grating.

Re-coating is necessary to mitigate degradation of the steel due to corrosion, noted COWI, as the bridge was last painted approximately 30 years ago.

“Repainting the bridge now would produce a coating that could last for another 30 years,” the COWI report emphasized.

Welds on the steel grating have been cracking and while repaired every year, COWI noted that an “appropriate service life of the steel decking would be 15 years”, indicating that the grating would need to be replaced twice to reach the intended 30-year service life.

Regular maintenance costs over 30 years and as well continued inspection round out COWI’s estimate of a $12.624 million price tag, should council decide on rehabilitation of the structure.

And should a new bridge be built and should council then decide to remove the current one, COWI estimates the cost at anywhere from $1.665 million to $2.495 million. COWI did point out that demolition would be somewhat easier because steel grating would be easier to remove than a concrete deck.

The steel decks would also have a salvage value.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Administering naloxone to a person experiencing a benzo-related overdose event won’t help. Naloxone is used to neutralize opioids. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress file photo)
Northern Health warning drug users of potential benzo contamination

The drug does not respond to naloxone, and is being included in street drugs

Black Press file photo
Fraud scam, car in ditch among weekly Kitimat RCMP report

Kitimat RCMP report from Dec. 18 to 24

(Mountainview Lodge photo)
Santa and Mrs. Claus payed a special visit to the residents at Mountainview Lodge in Kitimat back in December to help raise their spirits during the difficult Christmas season.
Good News, Kitimat!

Bringing some local good news to your week

Black Press file photo
Clare’s Corner: Baking the day away

My grandmother was a fantastic baker, and it’s a hobby she’s passed down through generations

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Victoria waterfront

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

Most Read