Work is progressing well on the replacement for the Solsqua-Sicamous Bridge and plans are underway to connect the new bridge to the rest of Sicamous’ walking infrastructure.
District of Sicamous operations manager Joe McCulloch said some key parts of the bridge project have to be completed by Feb. 23 because in-stream works can only be done in the window of time when it poses least risk to fish in the river. Bridge pilings are being installed and then traffic will be moved over to the west half of the bridge so work on the bridge deck can begin.
McCulloch said the portable light which is controlling the flow of vehicular traffic over the bridge will likely be in place for the duration of the project. McCulloch said he understands the inconvenience created by traffic delays at the bridge, which can be as long as half an hour, but the only other option was closing the bridge entirely. A full closure would affect snow clearing and emergency response so the light at the bridge is here the time being.
As the bridge is being built, the process of tying it in with the pedestrian path running parallel to Highway 97A is also beginning. McCulloch said District of Sicamous staff have applied for a grant to cover design costs for a path linking the existing trail to the bridge’s walkway and beyond. The goal is a pathway that is well separated from traffic, allowing people to safely walk across the new bridge after crossing Highway 1 at the roundabout.
McCulloch said the bridge replacement is on a very tight schedule but the contractor on the job is sticking to it as close as possible.