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PROGRESS 2023: Haisla Bridge project well underway in Kitimat

PROGRESS 2023 is published once a year by the Northern Sentinel
The Haisla Bridge project is expected to be fully operational by early 2024. (Associated Engineering photo)

By Associated Engineering

The Haisla Bridge provides a critical link between Kitimat, B.C. and its industrial lands, including LNG Canada and Rio Tinto.

Originally built in 1954, the bridge is operating near the end of its design life. The district of Kitimat wished to replace the bridge to provide a safe and reliable structure over the highly sensitive Kitimat River. The district awarded the design-build contract to the Ledcor-Haisla Limited Partnership. Brybil Projects, an affiliate of the Associated Engineering group of companies, is the lead design consultant for the partnership.

The project involves the design and construction of a 230-metre long bridge consisting of four spans - two spans over the Kitimat River and two, short, end spans over new multi-use pathways. In addition, construction will include 1,000 metres of realigned road approaches, drainage, erosion and scour protection, water and sanitary forcemain connections, roadway lighting, and private utilities. Specialist sub-consultants provided geotechnical and hydrotechnical services.

“The bridge superstructure comprises steel girders with clean lines and a gentle profile,” said Nik Cuperlovic, Bridge Lead.

“The visible portion of the bridge substructure includes round concrete piers and pier caps. In addition to strength requirements, we considered the visual appeal of the proposed piers – piers that inspire confidence, but are not overly massive. The new pier footprint is smaller than the existing one and the east and west piers are located outside the river channel, thus minimizing impact on the sensitive river ecosystem.”

Compared to the reference concept design, the roadway profile was lowered significantly at the abutments, resulting in a reduced project footprint that helps to mitigate potential settlement issues at the abutments and approach slabs. This also eliminated the need for a retaining wall at a property constraint on the north-east side of the bridge.

The Haisla Bridge is expected to be fully operational by early 2024. The project began in April 2021.

The original article appeared in AE Today Newsletter, 2022 issue 3.

See an e-edition of PROGRESS 2023 here.


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