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Queensborough swing bridge to reopen Friday, Southern Railway says

Trains should be rolling over the rail bridge that connects Queensborough to the Quay sometime Friday, according to Frank Butzelaar, president of the Southern Railway of B.C.

The swing bridge has been out of commission since a barge carrying gravel hit its centre span in the early morning hours of June 28.

Butzelaar said the claim the railway will submit to the insurance company will be in excess of $6 million.

There were a few challenges to getting the bridge back in operation, he said.

"Just finding fabricators that can do the work that we need on the time frame that we needed [was difficult]. We were asking them to drop everything and work on our project," Butzelaar said.

There have been two work sites for fixing the bridge. One was the centre pier where the company had to install a new pivot mechanism for the bridge to swing on, and the other was Fraser River Pile and Dredge where the 40-foot sections of girders were put together.

On Wednesday, railway workers were scheduled to put the track ties back onto the bridge and on Thursday they were to install the rails.

Butzelaar said the plan was to begin lifting the span back into place Friday morning, with hopes of having trains on the track by 10 p.m.

The Transportation Safety Board is continuing its investigation of the accident.

The railway serves about 30 customers on Annacis Island. During the closure, the railway rerouted freight by using Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks to Tilbury and then shipped the cargo by barge to its customers.

ggranger@newwestnewsleader.com

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