Trucks hauling approximately 220,000 tonnes worth of material to the new St. Louis Bridge site will begin rolling today as construction gets underway on the south bridge approach off Highway 2.
“Motorists should be aware that there will be a significant increase in truck traffic on Highway 2 south of Prince Albert,” Highways and Infrastructure Minister Jim Reiter said. “Upwards of 50 trucks will be moving continually on Highway 2 from west of Wakaw to the new bridge site east of St. Louis, over the next five weeks.”
The new bridge will be built 1.6 km east of the existing St. Louis Bridge, as this location has the best foundation conditions, the best alignment for proper sight lines, least impact on agricultural land as it follows an existing north-south road allowance and is the most economical route. This location was chosen in 2001 following community consultation.
The project also includes new connecting roads from the new bridge to Highway 2 that will be constructed east of the existing highways. The road south of the bridge will continue for a distance of approximately 6 km connecting up with Highway 2 immediately south of Hoey. The road north of the bridge will connect to the existing highway about 500 m from the new bridge.
“We’re excited to get started on a project that local motorists and shippers have been waiting for a long time,” Reiter said. “The province has made a $30 million investment to replace this deteriorating bridge, which is important not only for safety, but also to support the regional economy.”
Construction of the north bridge approach is expected to begin in spring 2011. Work will begin on the supporting roads, bridge abutments and piers in the summer of 2011. The bulk of the steel superstructure and bridge deck will be built in 2012.
The new bridge and supporting roads are slated for a late fall 2012 opening, pending favourable weather and contractor progress.