The Big Picture
Each time the Province inspects the Smith Bridge, its timeline for replacement seems to get bumped.
2034 is the latest provincial start date (15 years beyond the bridge's engineered life span).
A covered bridge cannot accommodate the larger vehicles and equipment that work in the region’s industrial sector.
Also, the bridge’s inferior load capacity requires all industrial traffic to cross in a staggered manner.
The travelling public must frequently allow larger vehicles to cross before proceeding. Commercial traffic will occasionally get stuck on the bridge, resulting in considerable delays.
In 2021, the MD spent $123,455 to partially replace the wooden bridge deck. Debris piles are periodically removed at a cost of about $50,000.
Proposed repair work exceeds a million dollars, which would buy the bridge just a few years of additional life at most.
A debris-created undercurrent has badly eroded ground cover for a support pier. It’s now just a half metre into the river bed instead of the minimum 2.5 m as required by code.
Locals and out-of-towners alike rely on the Smith Bridge to access gorgeous regional getaways like the Fawcett Lake campground.
A Way to Help Pay
From oil & gas to sand & gravel, the MD is home to a diversity of industrial operators who tap into local talent wherever possible.
A reliable bridge is critical to connecting the many contractors and support personnel to the companies that cultivate our thriving region.