The provincial department of transportation and infrastructure (DTI) has released more information about damage to the Sackville bridge that crosses over the TransCanada highway near the McDonald’s intersection, but there is no indication about what repairs will be needed, when they will be undertaken or how much they might cost.
On Friday, DTI released photos of, and e-mails about, the damage to the 62-metre-long bridge in response to a Warktimes request under New Brunswick’s Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (RTIPPA), but information about repair options was not included.
A letter signed by DTI Minister Jeff Carr received yesterday, but dated April 26th, says that under RTIPPA, project considerations and/or recommendations may be withheld if disclosure of such information could reveal “advice, opinions, proposals or recommendations developed by or for the public body [DTI] or a Minister of the Crown.”
The released documents include a darkened photo of a flat-bed truck that had been hauling what is described as an “over height load” that struck the underside of the bridge at 1:53 p.m. on Friday, February 3rd.
A February 7th e-mail to MLA Megan Mitton from Serge Gagnon, executive director of engineering services & chief engineer at DTI, says the operator of the truck had an “over height permit and should have been able to clear the structure.
“DTI is following up to determine height of load, clearance on bridge, etc…We are routing the truck that struck the bridge to the Salisbury scales where the height will be measured…
“At this time I do not have a timeline for repairs. This will become clear in the coming days/week once we start evaluating options and develop a repair strategy for this structure.”
The e-mails show that DTI hired Valron, a Moncton-based consulting firm to conduct an inspection and recommend options for repairs. (Valron had inspected the bridge the previous summer.)
In the meantime, DTI placed concrete barriers on the bridge to protect the damaged underside girder from traffic passing above it.
Another internal DTI e-mail (unsigned) says a Request for Proposals will be prepared for evaluation of repair options, but the details are redacted.
The e-mail addresses Bruce Boyd, DTI’s senior bridge maintenance engineer about completing the repairs needed so that the concrete barriers can be removed:
“Bruce – We should get this work done this summer and not let the restriction go into the fall/winter.”
To read Minister Carr’s letter, click here.
To view the DTI e-mails and photos, click here.
For previous coverage, click here.