The new Nass River Bridge on Hwy 37, east of Stewart, is now officially open for traffic.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) announced the completion of the replacement project in a press release on Oct. 22.
“The new Nass River Bridge will better connect B.C.’s northern resource communities to the rest of the province,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and MLA for Stikine, on behalf of Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure in the release.
“Forestry, mining and tourism are all important to the Northwest, and this two-lane upgrade to the Nass River crossing will support trade and economic growth in the region for years to come. It’s also a safer, modern piece of infrastructure that local and regional residents deserve.”
The total value of the project, which includes planning, design, engineering work and construction is $30.5 million. The Government of Canada contributed $10.6 million through the New Building Canada Fund, with B.C. covering the rest of the price tag. Construction began in the spring of 2018.
The new bridge replaces a single-lane bridge that was built in 1972, whereas its two lanes and wider shoulder are expected to improve safety for cyclists, pedestrians and all area residents. The wider span is also to accommodate larger vehicles used by industry in the area.
Crews also worked to realign a kilometer on each end of the bridge, which now permits a consistent 90 km/h speed limit along the corridor and improves sightlines for drivers to avoid collisions. The previous speed limit on the bridge was 30 km/h.
Included with the replacement is an improved rest stop with toilet facilities and a new lookout for viewing the Nass River Canyon.