New Brunswick

New Brunswick urged to move on maintenance for battered bridges

There's a lot of concern from local residents in Saint John about how much support one of its bridges has. After one resident posted photos to Facebook showing corroded steel supports on the Hazen Creek bridge, the province assured repairs are planned.

Auditor General Kim MacPherson named 293 bridges needing work in 2013 report

This bridge near Red Head has residents deeply concerned. It's just one of the 293 bridges that the Auditor-General warned about two years ago. 2:16

There's a lot of concern from local residents in Saint John about how much support one of its bridges has.

After one resident posted photos to Facebook showing corroded steel supports on the Hazen Creek bridge, the province assured repairs are planned.

But that's only one of the 293 bridges the province was warned about in an auditor general's report two years ago.

"This bridge is a disaster waiting to happen," says Dennis Griffin, a resident of Redhead Road.

He said he has been complaining about the deteriorating supports since 2007.

He didn't see any action then, and wonders what it will take to see something done now.

"Yes, it is disappointing. You know, you talk to the city, they say it's not their problem; it's the provincial government. You talk to the provincial government they tell you 'we don't have the funds,' " Griffin said.

"You know, yet.. if some of those trucks that you see crossing this road went through that bridge, or a school bus 
loaded with children going to or from school goes through that bridge, what's the cost then?"

On Monday, the province posted a sign, restricting the weight of vehicles that can use the structure.

In a 2013 report, Auditor General Kim MacPherson found 293 of the province's bridges were were classified in "poor" condition, meaning significant maintenance was needed to keep them in service.

"I am particularly concerned and the message I keep repeating is that our infrastructure is not being maintained," the report said.

Bridges were rated on a 100-point scale. Anything less than 60 got a poor rating.

The province couldn't say how many of the five worst bridges in MacPherson's report, with a rating of 2 or less, were repaired.

But one in Lorneville, after years of neglect, crumbled away in 2013. A temporary bridge remains in place at the location.

A spokesperson with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure says repairs are planned in a few weeks for the Hazen Creek bridge.

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