Residents living in and around St. Adolphe will no longer have to take an inconvenient detour after today.
The Pierre Delorme Bridge south of Winnipeg was reopened on Tuesday, after being shut down on August 20, 2009 when it was deemed unstable for use.
The province contemplated letting the structure fall into the Red River, but it eventually stabilized instead of crumbling under its own weight. Part of the structure was salvageable, so crews began dismantling and replacing the affected parts.
The bridge at the junction of Highway 200 and 210 connects Highway 75 to Highway 59. Since it was put out of commission, residents in the RM of Ritchot have been using St. Mary’s Road as their primary entry in and out of the community.
A total of $15 million was pumped into the project, which went to replace the west end of the structure.
While the bridge is officially reopen, brief single-lane closures will occur over the next few weeks and during the summer to complete final repairs.
The Pierre Delorme Bridge near St. Adolphe is still very much out of commission, but residents are managing the winter months without it. They have no choice.
The bridge was closed last August due to structural deficiencies which posed safety concerns. Crews dismantled the affected parts and have been working to repair it ever since.
There was talk about creating an ice road over the Red River to make it easier for commuters to make it on to Highway 75 and travel into Winnipeg without a lengthy detour. A clearing in the brush nearby was used decades ago for that very purpose, but thin ice and open patches of water put to rest any plans of duplicating such a road this year.
Area resident Glenn Sigurdson told ChrisD.ca on Thursday that, ideally, an ice road would have been preferred, but he understands why it couldn’t be developed. “I guess if it’s not safe, there’s nothing you can do. St. Mary’s Road is my daily route now, but hopefully it’s reopen (the bridge) soon.”
St. Mary’s has become the lifeline for access into the community, and traffic has increased significantly because of it. Area businesses and homeowners south of the Perimeter Highway have taken notice, but depending on whom you ask, opinions vary on whether it’s a good thing. One homeowner we spoke to made mention of motorists whizzing by at high rates of speed, especially with a school bus stop nearby.
The Province of Manitoba has tendered and awarded a contract to a company responsible for completing the first phase of repairs, which are underway and going well.
“As the first phase continues, the remaining work will be tendered in a couple of months and, weather permitting, will be done as quickly as reasonably possible over the summer and early fall,” a provincial spokesperson said in an e-mail earlier this week.
Residents living in the area of St. Adolphe, who used the bridge daily until its closure last summer, have recently raised concerns with the RM of Ritchot on when work will be completed. It appears the structure will be up and running again as early as the fall if construction remains on schedule.
Provincial officials announced today plans to partially dismantle the Pierre Delorme Bridge near St. Adolphe. The bridge has stabilized since being closed on August 21, which has allowed workers to move in closer to begin planning to use controlled charges.
The entire process is expected to take two weeks or more to complete.
Along with the controlled charges (dynamite), robotic equipment will be used.
At this point, the plan is moving forward, but that may change depending on the bridge’s movement.
Once the damaged parts of the bridge are safely removed, work will begin to repair the structure completely.
As for onlookers in the area, a provincial spokesperson tells ChrisD.ca that people can look from a safe distance, but 24/7 security has been deployed to make sure no one walks on or under the bridge.
Provincial officials are considering taking action against the crumbling Highway 210 bridge to St. Adolphe, which sits above the Red River.
On August 21, the bridge was closed due to shifting several feet within just days. Since that time, it’s taken a turn for the worst and sunk even further.
Now there’s talk about using a “controlled demolition” to take out part of the bridge using dynamite.
The dynamite method hasn’t been confirmed yet, but a spokesperson tells ChrisD.ca that it’s being “seriously considered” as a way to reduce the risk of the entire bridge crumbling on its own, which would be uncontrolled.
That being said, put some fresh batteries in your camera just in case, because you know that this will be a scene you won’t want to miss.