Work will begin this month on an upgrade to the southbound Simon Fraser Bridge, extending the life of the bridge.
The upgrade to the southbound bridge will include a full deck replacement and strengthening of the truss. The bridge’s north abutment will be replaced, which will increase the current underpass height restrictions and allow taller transport trucks to pass underneath.
Other work will include widening shoulders and replacing the existing railings on both sides of the bridge with crash-tested bridge barriers. The project will improve reliability for the nearly 18,000 vehicles that make the crossing daily.
The original Simon Fraser Bridge was built in 1963 and, as part of Highway 97, serves the main north-south route through Prince George. In 2009, the bridge was twinned, with the completion of an adjacent two-lane bridge bringing four-lane capacity to the crossing.
The project budget for this work is $20.5 million. The province has awarded the contract to Prince George-based Ruskin Construction Ltd. Project completion is scheduled for late 2022. During construction, the crossing will be reduced to two-lane traffic using the northbound structure.
The Simon Fraser Bridge is a key link for the northern supply chain. The upgrades to the deck and the increased height clearance of the underpass will improve the movement of commercial goods into the north, feeding the vital transportation and forestry sectors in the local area, as well as the mining, and oil and gas sectors further north.