As of July 16, the bridge over the North Alouette River on 232nd Street will be closed. The old wooden bridge will be dismantled and a new steel bridge will be built in its place. The bridge will be closed for six months, and the construction project will cost $4.75 million.
The Engineering Department has worked with GCL Contracting, who will be doing the bridge construction, to develop a traffic plan.
New signage has been placed along the access routes to Silver Valley and additional signage, to ensure that patrons of Maple Ridge Park and Golden Ears Provincial Park, who may have used 132nd Avenue as an access in the past, continue west along Abernethy Road and head north along 232 Street.
The current wooden bridge is almost 70 years old and has reached the end of its life and its replacement is at the top of our priority list, said Mayor Ernie Daykin. The bridge will be closed for six months so that this $4.75 million project can be completed with the greatest speed and efficiency. Our Engineering Department has been working with a large number of stakeholders to ensure that the impact to citizens is minimal during the construction window. Council looks forward to the completion of this project in early 2014.
The new bridge will be constructed using steel and concrete and will be raised above the 200-year-flood level to reduce impacts of extreme weather events for properties along the North Alouette River.
In addition, the new bridge has been designed to meet todays earthquake standards and has a higher load capacity, thus allowing for truck traffic to head south on to 232 Street for the first time.
The bridge will provide two lanes for vehicle traffic and feature separated multi-use pathways on both sides for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians. The bridge is also being designed to allow for future expansion to four lanes.
The construction window for the project has been chosen to minimize any impact on the river channel including any impact on the river habitat and fisheries windows, said Jeff Boehmer, manager of design and construction for the District of Maple Ridge. This project will include improvements to the lighting and drainage of the bridge and consolidation of the water and gas lines into the new bridge structure. The current bridge had reached the end of its life cycle, and the new bridge will offer significant safety, durability, and maintenance benefits for citizens.
The Engineering Department has worked with the Maple Ridge fire department, Ridge Meadows RCMP, and BC Ambulance Service to ensure that crews understand the detour routes during the project.
The Maple Ridge fire department checked the new suggested travel routes from Firehall No. 1 to the gates of the UBC Research Forest and noted that the difference in distance is minimal.
As part of the project planning, the school district is monitoring registrations for nearby Yennadon Elementary School and will be communicating directly with parents on special busing that will be set up for the duration of the construction project. This special service is funded as part of the construction project.
In addition to the enhanced signage alerting users about the bridge closure, the District will be adding maps and information to the District website to make sure the detour routes are readily available. Citizens may want to remind guests who are heading to Golden Ears Park, the UBC Research Forest, or visiting them in Silver Valley to ignore their GPS systems in favour of the information that will be available on the District website at mapleridge.ca.
A temporary pedestrian bridge will be installed and available during the entire project. There will be no equestrian access during the project; however, there is an area west of the bridge that will allow equestrian users to cross the North Alouette when water levels are low.
With every large project there is an element of inconvenience as we all adjust to new routes for the six-month construction window. Id like to thank the citizens of Silver Valley for their patience and thank the school district, fire department, RCMP, BC Ambulance Service, Haney Horsemen, ARMS, and community associations for their assistance in developing the plan and providing suggestions. I think everyone will be pleased when they see this new bridge completed after Christmas, said Daykin.
For more information on the project please contact Jeff Boehmer, manager of design and construction for the District of Maple Ridge at 604-467-7339 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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