Around four to six years until major headway made on new Taylor Bridge construction: Ministry of Transportation

TAYLOR, B.C. – Greg Bruce, with the Ministry of Transportation, says construction or, maybe completion, of a n…

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TAYLOR, B.C. – Greg Bruce, with the Ministry of Transportation, says construction or, maybe completion, of a new Taylor Bridge is roughly four to six years away.

“It’s really, really challenging ground. I think everybody that I talked to understands the geotechnical challenges in the Peace. That canyon, in particular, enhances it,” says Bruce.

Bruce was a guest on Friday’s Moose Talks, speaking about the recent announcement of a technical advisory committee being formed to take input on the bridge’s future.

The Province announced last week that the group would be created this summer. Stakeholders are encouraged to apply and will provide technical input on industrial road use, municipal infrastructure plans, utility services, and other considerations as options for the bridge are developed.

The ministry has extensive information around the viability of the bridge, said Bruce, mentioning the constant activity on the bridge over the past few years. Bruce says a detailed bridge inspection was recently completed.

“It’s a safe, reliable structure,” said Bruce.

“I know there’s a lot of maintenance and reliability issues with it right now, and that’s certainly something that we understand. But, it’s safe for the needed purpose. What we’re doing is taking a look at the viability of it for the future.”

The committee is different from a public consultation, notes Bruce, which would seek feedback from all community members.

“That technical advisory group will help us inform what those local needs are and help inform our design and options as we move forward.”

Bruce says the advisory group will run through the fall and winter, with public consultations running simultaneously.

Recently, Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier told Energeticcity he believes the bridge should be replaced and is confused why the province is conducting another study.

With a project this scale, Bruce says it’s important that the ministry implements a wider consultation model to make sure everything is done correctly.

“[The ministry] is good at planning, or at least I believe we are and typically have a community’s needs pretty well captured,” said Bruce.

He expects it will take a couple of years to complete a full investigation.

“This is a really, really critical piece of infrastructure for the region, and to not take that step would be a real mistake, I believe.”

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