Pedestrian Bridge repairs continue this month Print Article Font Size
Pedestrian_Bridge_SideView.JPGBeginning September 25th, work will resume on repairs to the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge.

Starting in early October, the bridge will close temporarily in order to undergo structural repairs.

International Timber Frames Inc. and sub-contractor Jackson Contracting & Excavating spent the last few weeks of August building and installing the jacking pads that will enable the lifting of the bridge to make the repairs, with the project expected to wrap up by the end of November.

As a result of changes to the original bridge design, superstructure additions and adjacent landscaping, rain and melt water has been inadvertently and to varying degrees, directed toward the abutments and bottom chord bearing points, subjecting them to long term and continual moisture.

Structural timbers subjected to continuous moisture has resulted in premature decay and failure of the foundational elements of the Bridge since its construction 16 years ago. A scheduled condition assessment of the structure in 2016 uncovered these structural issues and causes for failure.

“The findings came as a complete shock to staff,” says Town Chief Administrative Officer Jon Wilsgard. “Admittedly, we hadn’t conducted any detailed structural inspections since it was built, but for something that is supposed to last several centuries, to be in this bad a shape after so little time is something that could have never been reasonably forecast.”

While most of the repairs will be completed during the closure, some of the work has already been done, including the required welding of the metal brackets underneath the bridge and stripping of the shingles on the outside chords. This allowed the Town to keep the bridge open for the summer so as not to disturb our busy tourist season.

With a hefty price tag attached to the proposed repairs, the Town was compelled to postpone some projects around the community, dip into reserves, and face the prospect of having to borrow a portion of the funds to make the required repairs. Thankfully, in April, Columbia Basin Trust awarded the Town a grant for $133,000 to go toward repairs.

“The grant from CBT helped to alleviate the need to borrow anything short term,” says Mayor Ron Oszust. “The Pedestrian Bridge represents an immensely significant symbol of the community’s tourism product offering, seeing hundreds if not thousands of visitors per year, and acting as an increasing if not vital daily commuter route within town. It is without question, Golden’s symbolic centerpiece for identity and for the community a metaphor for volunteerism and collaboration. It is for these reasons that Council was very supportive of Staff’s proposal to not only begin the repairs, but to seek out any grant funding available to ensure that this iconic structure remains safe and intact for many years to come.”

The Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge will be closed to the public in early October and will remain closed until approximately the end of the month. There will be signage posted at the bridge to inform the public, and we will inform residents of any changes as the information is provided to us. During the closure, please take an alternate route.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.