Truckers getting impatient with Diefenbaker Bridge repairs
The City of Prince Albert is in a race against time. City officials told residents the bridge would be fully open by holiday season. Now, crews are scrambling to repair a damaged portion of the bridge so lanes can re-open by Christmas, but that doesn't mean the weight restrictions will be lifted.
Trucking companies are now weighing in on the status of the critical Diefenbaker Bridge in Prince Albert, and they're not happy.
Francis Fremont from Dwayne Fremont Trucking says that having to detour around the bridge not only affects their workers, but also the customers they're serving. "It all goes back to our clientele. They've got to pick up the tab ultimately. In the end we're eating a little bit, but it affects everybody."
The City of Prince Albert knows that with the amount of business that takes place around the city and farther north, getting the bridge back on track is long overdue, and patience is running thin.
"The transportation industry is desperate, because what used to take 20 minutes to get across that bridge now takes three hours for heavy equipment to go around," says Prince Albert Mayor, Jim Scarrow.
But trucking companies say the weight restrictions have gone on for too long. With no clear end in sight, they can't continue to lose money.
"I hope that they're going to do something for us trucking companies, because ultimately we're losing lots of revenue," says Fremont.
The city says once the jack is in place, they will then have to test to see what kind of weight the structure can take, and then determine whether or not the weight restrictions can be lifted.