Construction to repair and maintain Bow River Bridge has been delayed until after the August long weekend, meaning a mid-summer traffic nightmare for those needing to cross it.
Manager of engineering Kevin Van Vliet told council earlier this month Alberta Transportation had not tendered the project in time for it to be completed before Canada Day as expected.
While Canmore requested the work be finished before the busy tourist season, Van Vliet said the province, which is in charge of the project, has strong reasons to proceed this year.
Those include the fact that interim repairs would be cost prohibitive and make the project more expensive if it was undertaken next year.
“We now expect that project to begin on or after Aug. 8, with five to eight weeks of construction,” he said.
Trent Bancarz with Alberta Transportation confirmed the tender process was not complete in time to proceed before Canada Day and as a result expects construction to move forward after Aug. 8.
“It is work that needs to be done and since the budget is in place we might as well do it,” Bancarz said.
Traffic on the bridge, the only access to that side of Canmore other than the Three Sisters overpass on the Trans-Canada Highway, will be reduced to one lane with traffic signals to alternate direction.
The work will be to re-surface the deck of the bridge and put in new joints to hold the concrete together.
It is routine rehabilitation for the bridge, which was built in 1965, to prolong its lifespan.