Province uncertain over covered bridge's future as repairs continue
Excavator remains stuck after crashing through floorboards of Quispamsis, N.B. bridge
Work to restore the decking on a 104-year-old covered bridge in Quispamsis was supposed to end this week, but the province is admitting it still doesn't know when the bridge will reopen.
Hammond River Bridge #2 was damaged when contractor Gary McKinney drove his 13-tonne excavator onto the 12 tonne limit bridge.
The excavator crashed through the floorboards on Oct. 5, and is still on the riverbank.
The province has been trying to secure the bridge before removing the excavator.
In a written statement, Department of Transportation and Infrastructure spokesperson Shawn Berry said work will now continue to remove the excavator.
But a worker at the bridge said more reinforcements need to be added, with WorkSafe NB signing off before anything is removed.
He said the excavator will likely remain where it sits until late next week.
No date for deck repairs
Berry also said it's unknown when the bridge will be repaired.
"We cannot give a date as to when the bridge may be open to traffic as there needs to be further review of the bridge's condition," he wrote.
The prolonged detour and added travel time has been frustrating for many people living on the other side of the bridge.
The loss of time and gas money has been an issue, but she's increasingly nervous about being isolated.
"I'm more worried about emergency vehicles," she said. "If an ambulance, there's a lot of people here with bad hearts and they're older and, 20 minutes could save a life."
Several others who live nearby are concerned this weekend's forecasted heavy rains will exacerbate the situation.
Many think the route could remain closed as long as December.
Kellar's mother-in-law, Gladys Kellar, could only shake her head when asked about the bridge.
She's lived in the area since 1952 and is bemused about the amount of delays to see even minute progress.
"It's all a little laughable," she said from her kitchen down the road.