The new Parsnip River Bridge on Highway 97 North, approximately 30 kilometres south of Mackenzie, is now open.
“Safe and efficient road networks are key to maintaining economic productivity and a high quality of life for all,” said Catherine McKenna, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, in a news release. “The new Parsnip River Bridge connects B.C. communities, makes travel safer and will help strengthen the local economy over the long term. Through this project, we are helping put the ideal conditions in place for long-term growth and to build strong communities for generations to come.”
The new Parsnip River Bridge is an open-top structure with two travelling lanes. The elimination of the height and width restrictions means a greater capacity to accommodate the heavy loads required to service resource industries like mining, forestry, oil and gas. The addition of a dedicated sidewalk on the new bridge also improves safety for cyclists and pedestrians.
“With the opening of the new Parsnip River Bridge, this section of Highway 97 is safer for area residents and more accessible to the larger vehicles that serve industries in the region,” said Claire Trevena, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “This new bridge replaces the last low overhead along the highway, opening the path for improved transport of goods and equipment in the northeast.”
Final paving of the new Parsnip River Bridge and its approaches will be completed in spring 2020. The old steel truss bridge, built in 1953, will be decommissioned in 2020.
The Government of Canada is contributing up to $12.9 million to the Parsnip River Bridge replacement project through the New Building Canada Fund. B.C. is contributing the remaining funding for the $30.4-million project.