Work delays have stalled planned traffic closures this week on the Baxter Bridge at the north end of Trinity Valley Road east of Enderby. The Ministry of Transportation has said closures will now start Friday, July 23, at the earliest. When closed, the bridge will be down from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week but traffic will be allowed through at the top of each hour. (Morning Star file photo)

Work delays have stalled planned traffic closures this week on the Baxter Bridge at the north end of Trinity Valley Road east of Enderby. The Ministry of Transportation has said closures will now start Friday, July 23, at the earliest. When closed, the bridge will be down from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week but traffic will be allowed through at the top of each hour. (Morning Star file photo)

Work delays on bridge east of Enderby stall planned traffic closures

When closed, traffic on the Baxter Bridge will be down from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. save for the top of every hour

Work delays mean no traffic delays on the Baxter Bridge east of Enderby for the time being.

Traffic closures were supposed to have begun at the 71-year-old Ashton Creek structure over the Shuswap River on Monday, July 19. But Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure area bridge manager Chad Marsh said late Tuesday, July 20, that delays have popped up and there will not be any closures until Friday, July 23, at the earliest.

Marsh will send out a further update on July 23.

Bridge closures are expected every hour from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. There are openings at the top of each hour to clear lined-up traffic.

Repairs are being done as the ministry begins activities for a future bridge replacement.

The traffic closures are expected to run until early August.

“As we approach August 5, we will be assessing the works and activities required and will look to update as we near that date,” said Marsh.

The repairs are expected to take six-to-eight weeks to complete.

Work will involve installing steel pipe jackets around the existing aging timber piles, as well as replacing a number of structural components on the bridge.

The need for these repairs was identified during a recent inspection of the bridge. These repairs will keep the structure in safe operating condition, while the ministry continues with engineering and other preparatory activities for the future replacement of the bridge.

The ministry is planning for a modern two-lane steel and concrete bridge that will increase safety and reliability and create better traffic flow.

READ MORE: Replacement bridgework east of Enderby to commence



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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