TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
The 8th Street bridge remains closed as does Assiniboine Avenue underneath it on Friday afternoon.
When a truck crashed into the underside of the Eighth Street bridge in January, it caused more damage than initially thought.
The original timeline for repairing the bridge was four to six weeks. However, it has now been out of commission for two months, and repairs haven’t begun.
Patrick Pulak, the city’s director of engineering, said the delay is due to the fact that more internal damage to the structure was discovered, which sparked the need for further assessment of the bridge.
"Just to figure out exactly what components were damaged and to what extent," Pulak said.
Back in January, Pulak thought they could avoid the tendering process, as the bridge repair was considered a "semi-emergency."
It was later determined that it would still have to go out for tender, as outlined in the Municipal Act, which also added to the delay.
The tender process closes on March 26, and Pulak hopes to get things rolling immediately after that.
"Then it’s just a matter of them ordering the materials," he said, which would take a few weeks.
Pulak said he expects the work to be completed and the bridge open to traffic by the end of April.
The cost is expected to be around $50,000 now, up from the original estimate of $40,000.
"Overall I think the plan remains the same, but we’ve had to strengthen that lateral support more than we thought initially," he said.
The bridge is a combination of the original structure that was built in 1934 and a newer portion constructed in 1968.
It has been closed since Jan. 14 after a private garbage truck hit the structure, causing damage to its lateral supports. The bridge remains open to pedestrians.
"We do get calls about it and I know there are residents that are upset with the closure," city manager Scott Hildebrand said.
But Hildebrand said the closure has allowed the city to understand the real impact it’s having on the Daly Overpass and the First Street bridge.
"Especially with some of the discussions we’re having with the province and the federal government about redoing 18th and First and what the future of the Eighth Street bridge will be, and whether it’ll be a vehicle bridge or a pedestrian bridge," he said.
"It’s not good that this happened, but the fact that it did allows us to understand … the impact over a long period of time, how that impacts … pedestrians, residents and traffic."
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Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 15, 2014