SASKATOON -- The Ministry of Highways closed the old Highway 35 bridge in Nipawin on Wednesday due to rapidly deteriorating conditions.

“Built in 1931, this bridge was always due to close following the construction of a replacement bridge on Highway 55 in 1974, just over five kilometres away,” the ministry said in a news release.

“We understand this will have impacts on the community and apologize that this must be done with short notice.”

Ministry spokesperson Patrick Book said the closure was triggered by an inspection last week which found evidence of overloading on the support structure for the roadway approach spans.

He said a decision has not been made on whether the closure will be permanent and that the ministry will be meeting with stakeholders in the coming weeks to discuss longer-term plans for the bridge.