The Old Skeena Bridge in Terrace on Feb. 24, 2022. The provincial transportation and infrastructure ministry has set an all-in budget of $19 million for the planned extensive rehabilitation of the bridge. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)

The Old Skeena Bridge in Terrace on Feb. 24, 2022. The provincial transportation and infrastructure ministry has set an all-in budget of $19 million for the planned extensive rehabilitation of the bridge. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)

Terrace’s Old Skeena Bridge rehab cost pegged at $19 million

Contracts to be let this spring

The provincial transportation and infrastructure ministry has set an all-in budget of $19 million for the planned extensive rehabilitation of the Old Skeena Bridge.

Work is to start this year once contractors have been chosen following a tendering process with a fall-winter break and a scheduled completion next year.

Opened in 1925, the bridge became a major connecting point first between Terrace and Thornhill and its importance then grew with the expansion of east-west traffic.

Although a redesign of Hwy16 changed the traffic pattern by building a new bridge further downstream, the 1925 structure remained as an important crossing.

The rehabilitation work needed is such that the bridge will be closed to traffic during key periods.

This work will include repairing steelwork structures and other foundations and removing rust and lead primer followed by a new paint job.

And to improve passage along the sidewalk portion for pedestrians, cyclists and others who use wheeled devices, the ministry will bump out the sidewalk, making it wider at six key points.

But the nine light standards now intruding into the sidewalk area will remain as is, the transportation ministry said in a provided statement.

The prospect of better walking and cycling on provincial bridges was raised last fall by City of Terrace public works and engineering director Jon Lambert who wondered about the feasibility of widening sidewalks by extending them outward.

Passage along the Sande Overpass this winter, for example, was particularly impeded from built up snow and ice.

But it does not look like much will be happening anytime soon.

“There are currently no plans to widen other bridge sidewalks in the Terrace area at this time,” the transportation ministry indicated.