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No second bridge for Prince Albert
Published Thursday, January 10, 2013 11:24AM CST
Last Updated Thursday, January 10, 2013 9:35PM CST
According to a study commissioned last year, Prince Albert doesn’t need a second bridge.
The study, commissioned by the province, the City of Prince Albert, and the RMs of Prince Albert and Buckland, found that based on growth projections, the Diefenbaker Bridge hasn’t reach its maximum capacity. According to the study, it will be another 30 years until the bridge is maxed out.
The study came after the Diefenbaker Bridge had a major girder failure. In September 2011, one of its girders underwent a brittle fracture. The fracture led to a restriction of 15 tonnes was put on the bridge to ensure safety. Because of the weight restriction, there was a considerable change on what kind of vehicles could use the bridge.
The bridge has since been reparied, and the weight restriction was removed, allowing trucks carrying up to 75 tonnes to once again cross and it was determined that it can be used for these trucks for another 25 years.
The case analysis for the second bridge was guide by the assumptions about the future of Diefenbaker Bridge.
“The Province has invested $4.2 million into restoring the Diefenbaker Bridger to full service and we’re committed to working with the City of Prince Albert to ensure the bridge continues to provide reliable and predictable service to the citizens of Prince Albert region for the rest of its design life of 25 years,” said Highways and Infrastructure Minister Don McMorris is a press release.
The study’s results confirm the similar findings from studies done in 1977 and 2008.
The findings also addressed the dangerous goods concerns that were raised about the Diefenbaker Bridge route. The study found that, like Regina and Saskatoon, industry in the area at all levels of government are adhering to the strictest guidelines and ensuring the risks of transporting dangerous goods are minimized.
Lastly, the report recommends a formal agreement between the province and the City of Prince Albert for the long-term care of the current bridge to ensure it’s able to support the region.