The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure have made their decision on how they will replace the aging RW Bruhn Bridge in Sicamous.
For months, the ministry has been weighing replacing the bridge with either a new five-lane span over the Sicamous Channel or a four-lane bridge with another smaller bridge over the channel at Sicamous’ Main Street. The ministry announced on Dec. 12 they will be proceding with the single-bridge option.
“A new five-lane structure will eventually replace the RW Bruhn Bridge in Sicamous and the approaches will be widened to four lanes, improving safety and efficiency for people travelling through the area on Highway 1,” a release from the ministry reads.
Along with a replacement bridge, construction in the area will create a new roadway passing under the bridge on the west side of the channel, acceleration and decleration lanes at Old Spallumcheen Road and a multi-use path to increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists. The project will also include intersection improvements between Old Sicamous Road and Silver Sands Road.
“The results of archaeological field work and the cultural significance of the project area have guided the ministry’s decision to advance the one-bridge design, given the need to minimize impacts,” the release reads.
It says that financial, techical and environmental concerns were considered in making the decision as was the results of consultation with local governments, First Nations and the public.
The $224.5 million project is cost shared between the Federal and Provincial governments, with up to $91 million coming from the Federal end through the New Building Canada Fund.
The ministry anticipates design of the project will take two years with construction beginning in 2020.