PEI

Hillsborough Bridge can support walkway say engineers

A new engineering study shows the Hillsborough Bridge can support the extra weight of a walkway attached to the side of the structure.

'The sooner the walkway is built, the better.'

The Hillsborough Bridge has been found to have the weight capacity to support a walkway. (Nancy Russell/CBC)

A new engineering study shows the Hillsborough Bridge can support the extra weight of a walkway attached to the side of the structure.

Darrell Evans, manager of design and bridge maintenance with the Department of Transportation, said the final results are in from testing done on the bridge last August.

It's too early to say how much a walkway would cost, says Darrell Evans. (Pat Martel/CBC)
"We installed a bunch of sensors on the bridge, and we did a series of load runs along the bridge with a couple of trucks that we had known weights of," said Evans.

"Once we did that we ran about three days of sensing, and from that we determined that the Hillsborough Bridge does have a little bit of capacity, so that's good news."

Evans said discussion will soon begin with the town to come up with a design. He said it could be made from either steel, aluminum or concrete.  

He added it was too early to say when the walkway might be built or how much it might cost.    

"It'll be in the millions, and again everything depends on the nature of the structure we put on -- how we're going to handle the safety aspects in terms of roadside safety, traffic barriers, and barriers for protection of cyclists, as well as how we're going to handle the approach roads, and how that's going to factor into it, so fairly involved little project."

Stratford Mayor David Dunphy said he's pleased with the results of the study. The town has been pushing for a new walkway for a few years, and has heard from many residents who are afraid to walk or cycle over the busy bridge.

 "The sooner the walkway is built, the better," said Dunphy.

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