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Temporary Bailey bridge being brought in

  - NewsLeader file
— image credit: NewsLeader file

A temporary Bailey bridge will be brought in to replace the one shut down following a maintenance check on the weekend.

New Westminster Mayor Wayne Wright said the latest cracks in the one-lane bridge over the Brunette River that connects Braid Street to Coquitlam's don't appear to be repairable. So the city is working with the provincial Ministry of Transport to find a temporary Bailey bridge to put in its place. Wright said Tuesday morning that it appeared one had been found in the Fraser Valley.

"We have sourced a second Bailey bridge to give us time to figure out what has to be done," said Wright.

The new cracks in the structure were found during a maintenance inspection Sunday. A year ago, two splits in the bridge's trusses were found and it took nearly two weeks to repair. Heavy truck traffic was also banned with the bridge's maximum load weight being reduced from 48 to 15 tonnes.

Wright said the engineers believed at that time the bridge had another 18 to 24 months of life left, but heavy trucks ignoring the ban have shortened that time frame.

"We can't stop bigger trucks from going across it," said Wright.

He estimated it could take as long as four weeks for the temporary replacement, also a one-lane structure, in place.

The development intensifies the heated debate between New Westminster and Coquitlam about replacing the bridge. Coquitlam wants a permanent two-lane structure, but New West insists that would put too much of a burden on the already heavily-congested intersection at Braid and Brunette Avenue.

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