Placentia's lift bridge out of commission for time being

Placentia's lift bridge remains closed to vehicles and vessels Monday after it partially collapsed Sunday.

Drivers will have to use dirt Southeast Road

Placentia's lift bridge remained closed to vehicles and vessels Monday after it partially collapsed on Sunday.

No one was hurt when the 50-year-old Sir Ambrose Shea Lift Bridge ended up stuck in a half-opened position after a malfunction around 11 a.m. Sunday.

Calvin Kerrivan, a fisherman based in Placentia, said he's been cut off from his fishing gear out in the water, since his boat can't get out of the harbour.

"We were going out yesterday and we couldn't get out, so we don't know when we're going to get out or if we're getting out anymore now," said Kerrivan.

He said they were nearly set to go out on the water Sunday when someone told them what happened at the bridge.

"I got 500 pots out on St. Pierre Bank and no way to get out to them," he said.

"If you're coming in with $18,000 to $20,000 stock every week, every four days, I guess it puts you in a hard predicament now because you've got boat payments and you've got a crew which is not going to stick around because they have no money coming in — they're going to go elsewhere, so here I am now stuck and I don't know where to turn."

Kerrivan said even if crews manage to put the bridge back into place, it doesn't seem likely it will be able to lift again, so he doesn't know when his boat will be able to get back on the water.

"If I can get her [the boat] out now, she won't be here again very quick until the new bridge goes in."

No word on progress

Placentia Mayor Wayne Power told the St. John's Morning Show it's too early to predict when the link will be re-established.

Power said the province's Transportation and Works department was on the scene Sunday, conducting an assessment. He said it's his understanding there will be a meeting Monday morning to review the situation and discuss how they'll proceed.

​Power said at the very least it's an inconvenience.

"Both vehicle traffic and marine traffic are restricted from using (the bridge) at the present time. So no one … from the Jerseyside-Freshwater​-Dunville side can access the town side … and vice versa. So you know that's a great inconvenienece going there. And then you have marine traffic can't go under it as well."

The secondary route to and from Placentia, known as the southeast road, is not paved and can add up to a half hour to the normal trip in and out of town.

"That is open, passable. I drove over it about 10 o'clock (Sunday) night. Dusty, but hopefully the Department of Transportation can look after that this morning. Our MHA assures us that that should happen today," he said.


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