The Buckland Bridge is now closed.
As of Monday, the bridge was closed to all traffic. Alternate routes will be on McLeod Road and Greig Road.
The bridge was scheduled for replacement in the next few years.
“Now, due to the North Saskatchewan River’s ice damming this spring, the water backed up over the rails, causing sizeable ice chunks to collide into the bridge, compromising the structure further,” administrator Cori Sarginson said in the release.
Due to the questionable condition of the bridge and in the interest of public safety, RM council has made the decision to close the bridge to traffic until the road lift and bridge replacement is complete.
According to Sarginson, during the council’s August meeting they have received their funding from the Municipal Economic Enhancement Program (MEEP) which was for $485,083 and was approved by the provincial government in July. They are awaiting approval so they can tender out bridge design which would be completed by the engineering firm. Once approval is received they can begin the process.
The estimated cost is $1.5 million but there will be some approval and some upgrades to roads. There is a possibility that the bridge might have to be built up, but that is part of the discussion with the engineering firm.
During the August meeting, council also placed traffic restrictions on the bridge to prevent bridge failure.
The goal is to have the bridge project completed and open at the conclusion of the next construction season.