LAC DU BONNET, MAN. — The final phase of construction on the Winnipeg River Bridge is underway north of Lac du Bonnet, Man. along PR 313.
The $30-million project encompasses a new bridge deck, repairs to the bridge foundations, steel girders, engineering design and approaches to the bridge on PR 313.
“This bridge is a vital link for the community and cottage country,” said Manitoba Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler in a statement. “The former rail bridge was modified for vehicle traffic years ago but engineers identified structural issues such as corrosion on the steel girders along the north side of bridge that required immediate action and a partial closure of the bridge for safety reasons.
“The new bridge deck will be wider to comfortably accommodate vehicles and trailer traffic and will include a pedestrian crossing.”
A three-week closure of the bridge will take place in late fall 2018, which will be planned in consultation with the local community to determine timing and to ensure there is sufficient lead time for the community to plan around the bridge closure, a release states.
Bridge construction is scheduled to begin in late May or early June, and motorists are advised to exercise caution as heavy equipment is moved into place. Project completion is scheduled for December 2019.
The history of the bridge dates back to 1908 when the first wooden bridge was constructed and then replaced in 1931 with a steel Dominion Bridge structure used for both rail and highway traffic.
The bridge deck was raised by four feet to accommodate rising water levels created by the McArthur Falls Generating Station and the rail tracks were removed in 1963.