Repairs to the twin spans built across Finlayson Island in the North Saskatchewan River, commonly referred to as "the old bridges," are planned for later this fall.
The Town of Battleford, which has been responsible for the bridges since 2003, has approved approximately $100,000 worth of work to begin in late September. The project cost is included in the works department's capital budget.
According to a report received by Batteford town council Monday, the work will involve repairing concrete and possible replacement of reinforcing steel.
Associated Engineering, who provided the inspection of the bridges and the list of repairs needed, recommended the Town hire Vector Construction to perform the repair work. Vector Construction, which has offices across North America, specializes in extending the service life of concrete structures through concrete restoration and protection.
Work can begin as soon as permits are obtained from applicable environmental agencies.
The repair work will begin at the locations of highest priority and work up to the Town's budget.
Work on the span over the south channel of the river will be done on two concrete piers, the first two priorities on the list.
On the north channel span, priority number three is a hole in the deck that needs a patch. Descending in priority are other repairs to the north channel span: and one pier, three abutment pedestals and some exterior concrete girders.
The work includes cleaning any reinforcing steel in the repair areas, and replacing it if there is more than a 10 per cent loss.
The bridges were built in 1908, and when considered a single entity, comprise the oldest existing highway bridge in the province, the longest of its type. The bridges no longer serve traffic between Battleford and North Battleford, however. Since the provincial highways department built a second bridge over the North Saskatchewan River for traffic northbound on Highway 4 and westbound on Highway 16, the old bridges were closed to through traffic. The span over the north channel is open to foot and bicycle traffic and the south channel span is open to motorists to access Finlayson Island.