Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

Brandon Sun - PRINT EDITION

Eighth Street Bridge: Construction work could start in 2014

Workers with Dillon Construction conduct a detailed inspection of the Eighth Street bridge in 2011. A final report is expected mid-March.

TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN Enlarge Image

Workers with Dillon Construction conduct a detailed inspection of the Eighth Street bridge in 2011. A final report is expected mid-March.

Construction of a new Eighth Street bridge could begin in 2014, according to Brandon’s deputy director of engineering services and water resources.

Graeme Loeppky of Dillon Consulting explains the options for the Eighth Street bridge to Myles Harper during a public consultation on last year at city hall.

Enlarge Image

Graeme Loeppky of Dillon Consulting explains the options for the Eighth Street bridge to Myles Harper during a public consultation on last year at city hall. (COLIN CORNEAU/THE BRANDON SUN)

Construction of a new Eighth Street bridge could begin in 2014.

Enlarge Image

Construction of a new Eighth Street bridge could begin in 2014. (FILE)

Patrick Pulak said the preliminary design report from Dillon Consulting is expected to be received mid-March.

"My hope is this is the year that we … finalize where we want to go," Pulak said. "So this year becomes the year for the design."

After preliminary design, a request for proposals will be issued for detailed design plans.

"And if we’re going forward, I see construction possibly as early as next year," Pulak said.

The preliminary design report will outline the timeline for construction and the cost for the project.

Plans for replacing the aging Eighth Street bridge have been in the works since about 2010. Originally, 2013 was the target date for completion, but the project was pushed back as the city dealt with the historic flood of 2011.

The bridge is a combination of the original structure that was built in 1934 and a newer portion constructed in 1968.

According to the 2009 Inspection Report Update, the structure exhibits areas of "severe deterioration."

"It’s at the end of its lifespan," Pulak said. "You’ve got a few portions that will maybe last a bit longer but … it’s gone beyond where you traditionally expect bridges to last."

The bridge is not yet a safety concern and the city is not at the point where it needs to start implementing load restrictions.

"At this point we’re not there yet, but if we delay this decision we will be," said Mayor Shari Decter Hirst. "And then … what’s the point of having a bridge?"

Decter Hirst said replacing the Eighth Street bridge is a top priority.

"It’s very much on the front burner of our infrastructure projects that we’re looking at," she said.

Several bridge options were considered, including building a new structure at Fifth Street and changing the shape of the bridge at its existing location. Both were met with negative feedback from the public.

"All of the options we presented involved some level of expropriation of land," Pulak said. "The feedback we got from the public, especially from the residents in the area, was a ‘not in my back yard’ type of attitude, and not surprisingly so."

Pulak said the option to build at Fifth Street was one of the most expensive routes. They went back to the drawing board and developed another option, which requires no land expropriation. The plan is to rebuild the Eighth Street bridge where it is for vehicles only, with a separate pedestrian bridge on the east side to line up with the transit mall.

"One of the problems we have with the current bridge is it really doesn’t meet today’s transportation standards," Pulak said. "(This option) allows us, within the space that we have, to meet those standards. Plus whenever you can separate pedestrian/vehicular traffic, it’s always a bonus."

Pulak said they also looked at ways to address the bridge’s steep south side, such as re-grading Pacific Avenue.

"But the problem is, what really dictates that is the clearance that we have to have over the railroad," he said. "We looked at several options … and it doesn’t matter what we did, it would be an enormous amount of money to try and fix that grade."

Most of the concerns regarding the bridge’s southern approach come in the winter.

"There’s a lot of salt that has to be added to the road so it’s not icy in that intersection," he said, adding that the city is looking into an underground heating system to prevent ice buildup.

While the cost is not yet known, Pulak said the bridge replacement would likely be in the range of $25 million.

The city has an infrastructure reserve, but Pulak said they would need to pursue a funding partnership with either the province or the federal government.

"Then depending on where council’s comfort level is with funding the project, we may add money to the reserve, we may issue a debenture," Pulak said.

» jaustin@brandonsun.com

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 25, 2013

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Construction of a new Eighth Street bridge could begin in 2014, according to Brandon’s deputy director of engineering services and water resources.

Patrick Pulak said the preliminary design report from Dillon Consulting is expected to be received mid-March.

Please subscribe to view full article.

Already subscribed? Login to view full article.

Not yet a subscriber? Click here to sign up

Construction of a new Eighth Street bridge could begin in 2014, according to Brandon’s deputy director of engineering services and water resources.

Patrick Pulak said the preliminary design report from Dillon Consulting is expected to be received mid-March.

Subscription required to view full article.

A subscription to the Brandon Sun Newspaper is required to view this article. Please update your user information if you are already a newspaper subscriber.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media