Silver Valley residents in Maple Ridge will have to take the long way home for six months but it will be worth it in the long run to have a new 232nd Street bridge over the North Alouette River.
Construction is set to start in June and be complete by the new year, according to information at an open house at municipal hall Thursday.
While the project requires a complete shut down of 232nd Street, just north of 132nd Avenue, a temporary pedestrian bridge will allow walkers and cyclists to cross and make their way up to the new subdivision at the north end of the street.
Once work starts however, motorists will have to use 224th Street and drive north up to 136th Avenue and turn right to get into the subdivision.
Maple Ridge has budgeted $4.6 million for the project, although it’s still waiting on project bids for the final cost.
“The existing bridge is at the end of its service so it’s time to have it replaced,” said municipal engineer Dave Pollock.
Bill Archibald with the Haney Horsemen wanted to know if the new bridge will be higher than the existing wooden bridge.
He was told the new bridge will be higher, while the river channel will be one or two metres wider than it currently is. Both steps would minimize debris and log jams during high water periods.
Unlike the new 232nd Street bridge over the South Alouette River which has four-lane foundation, but is still only two lanes, the North Alouette bridge will be built on a two-lane foundation that will be capable of expanding to four lanes at a later date.
Property infringement and a hydro line made it easier to keep the bridge at a two-lane design for the time being.
The bridge also will have a three-metre sidewalk on one side for people, bicycles and horses and a two-metre sidewalk on the other.
The total span of the bridge will be about 35 metres, with no piers in the water, minimizing any impact on fish.