The provincial government has issued a tender call for construction of a new lift bridge in Placentia, to replace the current aging and crumbling one.

The tender follows short-term repairs, valued at $1.7 million, completed this summer.

"Repairs carried out this year will ensure the current bridge will meet the needs of residents until the completion of its replacement, which we anticipate will begin construction in 2013," Transportation Minister Tom Hedderson said in a statement.

In Feburary, government officials restricted heavier vehicles from crossing the bridge after an inspection revealed serious structural problems.

Placentia, NLPlacentia

The province had put out a tender last year to replace the entire bridge, but decided not to follow through because the only bid was $43.3 million — almost double the initial estimate.

The government now says it has revised the requirements for the new bridge, in an effort to encourage more proposals.

"My department welcomes submissions from all construction companies as we proceed with the bidding process for this significant project," Hedderson noted.

According to the province, the new bridge will be built next to the existing one on Route 100.

The current bridge will remain open while construction of the new one is ongoing.

Officials in Placentia have complained about the pace of repairing the bridge.