Interior Roads (IR) crews re-decking Bridge Creek Bridge last week (Nov. 22-25) on contract for the District of 100 Mile House caused some traffic delays as flaggers halted vehicles for short closures and single-lane openings.
District engineering/community services director Phil Strain says the bridge on Horse Lake Road (west of Blackstock Road) was due for new planks as standard, timely bridge maintenance.
“2010 was the last time we re-decked it, and this year it was just getting worse. The planks were worn and it was just our due diligence to change them out.”
While folks may have noticed the worn planks getting bumpy, some drivers going over the bridge in single lane openings during repair work report being a bit startled by loud banging noises and/or seeing a slight popping-up of the new boards under the wheels of the vehicles ahead.
However, Strain says the planks bouncing up slightly and making loud noises isn’t a safety concern.
“The boards can’t go anywhere because they’re all interlocked. Basically … they tack them down [during the bridge work].”
Once all the new planks were down, they did the final nailing the last day to tightly secure everything, he adds.
“This is something these [IR bridge crews] do on a regular basis – that is their expertise, redoing bridges, and they do it throughout the whole region – and that is why we hired them.”
Strain says the untreated fir planks have no environmental impact, which is required to protect the stream, but they do deteriorate more quickly.
“Five to six years is a pretty standard rotation for bridge decking. So, it was certainly nothing out of the ordinary.”
Drivers may notice a slight rise in the pavement when they go on and off the bridge, which the District has improved as best it can in winter temperatures – and a bit of snow may further level it out, he explains.
“I know some people were complaining about how bumpy the bridge approaches were, but we did go out and do some cold patching until next spring when we can get hot patch in there, and then it will be a lot smoother.”