The company that designed and prepared the contract for a $24 million bridge replacement project over the Nass River on Hwy37 North has won one of five top honours at the 2020 B.C. Highways Consulting Engineers Awards presentation event held Jan. 28 in Vancouver.
“This project demonstrated engineering excellence with the construction of a new two-lane, approximately 130-metre bridge to span the Nass River,” writes a provincial release concerning the award to Stantec Consulting Ltd.
This new bridge replaced a 62-year-old one-lane timber frame structure that grown to become a traffic bottleneck as activity grew in the area. It was opened last fall.
“The new bridge meets modern design criteria for heavy industry routes, set to accommodate large transport trucks,” the government release says.
“The design had to consider the remote northern location of the bridge in conjunction with the shortened construction season and logistics when rocky terrain and varying rock quality posed challenges.”
The new bridge is located upstream from the current one and in addition to two lanes, has wider shoulders for pedestrians and cyclists.
Part of the project involved realigning the highway for about a kilometre on each approach to improve sightlines, a factor that means traffic can cross at 90 km/h instead of the original 30 km/h speed limit.
The rest area on the east end of the bridge was also moved and include a new pedestrian viewpoint and new washroom facilities. A left-hand turn lane now provides safer access.
The federal government provided $10.4 million with the province add the remaining $13.6 million to complete the $24 million budget.