Traffic restrictions added to Buckland Bridge ahead of planned construction

The Buckland Bridge

The RM of Buckland does not want to have to decommission the Buckland Bridge before they construct a replacement. At the regular RM council meeting on Monday, August 10 the council discussed options to try to prevent traffic on the bridge possibly creating a bridge failure.

Administrator Cori Sarginson is placing a notice on the municipality’s Facebook page to warn traffic about bridge use. When two vehicles come to Buckland Bridge at the same time one has to decide who is there first. As well, there has been some heavy agriculture vehicles using the bridge.

“I just hope people will read the Facebook page and adhere to our pleas otherwise we have got to cut the bridge down,” Reeve Don Fyrk said.

“And if they don’t want to follow the rules we will shut it down. Because the RM will not be responsible,” he explained.

Fyrk explained that as a municipality they have done their due diligence and lowered the speed limit and set weight restrictions.

The bridge replacement project itself is also moving ahead. The project will replace a timber bridge with a bridge made of steel and concrete.

“Once financing is arranged it’s a straight go for the bridge” Fyrk said.

According to Sarginson during the meeting, they have received their funding from the Municipal Economic Enhancement Program 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 same meeting, the RM appointed Sarginson as Returning Officer for the November election. The divisions that are up for grabs this cycle include Division 1 currently represented by Arthur Brandolino, Division 3 represented by Orest Romanchuk, Division 4 represented by Don Lavoie, Division 5 represented by Bob From and the Reeve position occupied by Fyrk.