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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer took to social media on Wednesday to update the region on damage to the Sikanni Chief Bridge.

Tests will determine whether the bridge on the Alaska Highway, after being the scene of a large accident and resulting fire, can bear the same loads as it could before the blaze.

Zimmer said the result of these tests is expected on Friday.

“There’s been testing of the concrete and the steel because there were extremely high temperatures that the bridge was exposed to — so they want to make sure that it’s safe to cross,” the MP explained.

If the bridge cannot sustain heavy loads, Zimmer said other measures (perhaps a temporary bridge) may be needed.

One man died in the accident, which involved a tanker truck. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to their family,” Zimmer said.

The August 25th accident on the Sikanni Chief Bridge shut down the Alaska Highway between Fort St. John and Fort Nelson for several hours. While the highway is currently open to cars, pickup trucks, and RVs, commercial traffic that weighs under 15,500 kilograms cannot use the bridge.

The bridge is a vital link in the supply chain between Fort Nelson and the rest of the province. Grocery stores in the city are currently diverting shipments through the Yukon.

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Grace Giesbrecht

Grace Giesbrecht is a news reporter for EnergeticCity.ca who recently graduated from Trinity Western University with a bachelor of arts in Media + Communications. She was born and raised just outside of Fort St. John. She began reporting for her university’s student newspaper and interned with Ottawa Life Magazine where she developed a passion for asking questions, telling stories, and the written word. In her free time, you can find her drinking coffee, snowboarding, or reading novels.