Oct. 22, 2009
EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to a forecast of snow and windy conditions, the closure of the Princess Margaret Bridge has been postponed. The dates and times of the closure will be announced when scheduled by the Department of Transportation.
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The Princess Margaret Bridge in Fredericton will be closed to motorists from 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, until 6:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 26 as part of Phase 1 of the bridge rehabilitation project.
Transportation Minister Denis Landry said that contractors will be jacking up the bridge and installing four bridge bearings weighing 360 kilograms (800 pounds) each, and will also be relocating work platforms.
Landry said that roughly 90 per cent of repairs to the bridge's steel superstructure have been completed. Marid Industries of Nova Scotia won the tender to do the work, and it has performed the repairs daily while the bridge is open to traffic.
Landry said that Phase 1 of the rehabilitation project has progressed well, with the contractor using just over one-third of the allotted 60 overnights and weekend days that it is allowed to close the bridge, as stipulated in the contract.
"Department of Transportation staff in the Fredericton region have worked closely with the contractor to carefully plan closures to minimize the disruption to motorists, and minimize the impact to the community," said Landry. "For example, we avoided closing the bridge during the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival and during peak travel times such as holidays, and I believe that this level of co-operation has been well received. At the same time, I want to convey my appreciation to the people of this region for their patience and understanding."
To date, 10 of the 22 bridge bearings have been installed. Four more will be installed in 2010 as part of Phase 2 of the project.
The 1,098-metre-long bridge was built in 1957, and is a 23-span steel structure with a concrete deck. Due to its age and condition, load limits were reduced to a maximum of 43,500 kilograms in November 2008 in order to prevent overstressing. This measure was a result of the Department of Transportation's bi-annual bridge inspection program.
MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew Holland, Communications, Department of Transportation, 506-453-5634.