First opened in 1925, the old Skeena Bridge spanning the Skeena River between Terrace and Thornhill is to undergo an extensive rehabilitation. (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure photo)

First opened in 1925, the old Skeena Bridge spanning the Skeena River between Terrace and Thornhill is to undergo an extensive rehabilitation. (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure photo)

Old Skeena Bridge rehab contract awarded

Motorists can expect bridge to be closed

The old Skeena Bridge will soon close to traffic now that a $22.6 million contract has been awarded to rehabilitate the structure. No start date has yet been announced but the project that will take until the fall of 2023 to be completed.

Gitga’at Park Derochie Industrial Services Inc. will undertake a full paint recoating, steelwork structural repairs, bearing replacements and sidewalk upgrades.

The bridge, which spans 300 metres across the Skeena River, will be re-opened to traffic over the winter during a work shutdown period. One distinct feature during the project will be a scaffolding system placed around the bridge to prevent debris from falling into the river.

Fishing in the area will be kept open as will boat access and there will be signs outlining any restrictions. Motorists wishing to go to and from Thornhill will be rerouted through Terrace, over the Sande Overpass and across the Dudley Bridges.

A scaffolding containment system around the bridge will protect the environment and prevent debris falling into the Skeena River while the work is ongoing. Fishing access will remain open and boat access will be accommodated with signage detailing any restrictions.

“In addition to being an important crossing, this bridge is an important local landmark and a recognized heritage site, and we’re very pleased to be able to extend its life through this rehab work,” said transportation and infrastructure minister Rob Fleming of the bridge, which was first opened in 1925.

Gitga’at Park Derochie Industrial Services is a joint venture of the Gitga’at First Nation, at Hartley Bay near Kitimat, and Park Derochie Industrial Services, an industrial contracting company.

With the contract now awarded and very little traffic to be expected heading east from downtown Terrace along Lakelse Ave. to the bridge, city officials can now move forward on the timing of a project of their own.

That’s to build a hard surface walking and cycling pathway running adjacent to Lakelse Ave. to the bridge.