Bridge Fix A Winner
The three-year, $15-million project to repair the Seal Island Bridge -- a vital link for Cape Breton motorists and industry -- received honours from Lt.-Gov. Myra Freeman today, April 20.
The Department of Transportation and Public Works shared the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Engineering Excellence with consultants CBCL Limited of Halifax for the major overhaul of the province's third largest bridge.
"This was a complex and challenging construction project that has added several decades to the useful life of this magnificent bridge," said Transportation and Public Works Minister Ron Russell. "Everyone involved in the planning and construction of this important project should be very proud of this award."
Forty years of wear and tear from traffic, and exposure to wind and salt spray, necessitated a major overhaul of the Seal Island Bridge. The road deck needed complete replacement, and the steel truss work needed reinforcement.
"This project exemplified co-operation, with a high-tech design that more than met expectations in terms of minimizing traffic disruption," said Alan Perry, president of CBCL Limited. "With a resourceful contractor, All Steel Coatings, and subcontractors, Strescon Limited and Marid Industries Limited, we were able to meet stringent tolerance and quality requirements, and satisfy a department of transportation interested in applying new techniques to affect improvements in the durability of Nova Scotia's highway infrastructure."
The bridge is a critical link in the province's highway system, carrying more than 7,500 cars a day in peak periods. Closing it would have created detours up to three hours long. Engineers solved the problem by using precast concrete panels that could be placed onto the bridge one at a time. The panels were cast at an offsite plant under ideal conditions for quality control, then trucked to the bridge and set in place with boom trucks.
This technique allowed the bridge team to keep one lane open to traffic except for occasional, brief closures. A communications program kept motorists informed of expected bridge delays, and the bridge team worked closely with fire, police, and ambulance services to ensure speedy crossings in emergencies.
"That the majority of the work on this most complex and difficult bridge reconstruction project was carried out by Nova Scotia companies is a reflection of the engineering and construction excellence in our province," said Mr. Russell.
The bridge, which spans the Great Bras d'Or Channel between New Harris and Boularderie Centre, was originally opened in 1961 as part of the Trans-Canada Highway system.
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The three year, fifteen-million dollar overhaul of the Seal Island Bridge on Cape Breton Island received a special award today (April 20th).
The Lieutenant Governor's Award for Engineering Excellence was presented to the Department of Transportation and Public Works and C-B-C-L Limited.
Transportation and Public Works Minister Ron Russell says it was a complex and challenging construction project, and everyone involved in the planning and construction should be proud of the award.
The bridge is a critical link in the province's highway system, carrying more than 75-hundred cars a day in peak periods.
The Seal Island Bridge spans the Great Bras d'Or Channel between New Harris and Boularderie Centre.