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This aging bridge in Placentia now has restrictions in place for heavy commercial traffic. (CBC)

The Department of Transportation and Works is banning heavy commercial vehicles from the lift bridge in Placentia.

Any commercial vehicle registered in excess of 13,000 kilograms will not be permitted to travel over the bridge, the government said in a press release.

Officials say the bridge is safe for public use, provided the load restriction is observed.

A recent structural evaluation led to the move. The province expects to provide more information on Tuesday.

Placentia Mayor Bill Hogan issued a blistering press release late Monday, demanding a commitment from the government that "a new bridge will begin now, not after further studies, not after tendering."

Last August, the government decided not to award the tender to build a replacement bridge at the site, citing the cost.

The only bid received was $43.3 million, officials said at the time, or nearly double the original estimate.

"The bid was so high, in fact, that the only responsible decision was not to award the tender and re-evaluate options," Transportation Minister Tom Hedderson said at the time.

Hedderson added: "We recognize the importance of an improved bridge structure at Placentia Gut. We will be moving to formulate a new plan of action to address the long-term needs in this area as quickly as possible."

Local MHA Felix Collins said last summer it was incumbent on the government to undertake "a thorough review process to determine if there are other viable and more cost-effective options."

The half-century-old Sir Ambrose Shea bridge has exceeded its lifespan of 45 years.

Hogan has invited both Collins and Hedderson to a Placentia town council meeting on Tuesday night.

The mayor said Collins informed him that a three-month repair job is necessary to return the bridge to a safe condition.