Quesnel City Council has directed staff to come back with a formal report on a full repair of the Johnston Bridge.
Council was presented with four options at a special meeting on Tuesday night.
Option A involved comprehensive repairs to the bridge for a 15-20 year lifespan.
It would bring the bridge up to a full legal axle load rating for 63,500 kilograms, although Director of Capital Works and Infrastructure Chris Cobin noted that the lifespan would increase if Council were to keep the 10,000 kilogram weight restriction that has been in place since October of 2018 after an inspection by engineers revealed that it had corrosion problems.
This repair would include new bearings and plates, replacement of all light bracing, repair of girders and girder coating at a cost of approximately 2 to 2 1/2 million dollars.
Many on Council however, asked Director Cobin to come back with a more detailed price.
Cobin said that could take some time as the work would have to be done by engineers, adding that it wouldn’t be cheap.
As for the other three options, option B would look at low risk minimal repairs for a 10 year lifespan and would see the 10 ton limit remain at an estimated cost of 1 to 1 1/2 million dollars.
City Manager Byron Johnson called the other two options band-aid solutions.
Option C would involve high risk minimal repairs with a 10-year lifespan at a cost of 250 to 400 thousand dollars, and option D is to just leave the bridge as it is with the weight restrictions and let it age out.
That would require evaluation twice annually to maintain issues.
A new bridge, based on figures from 2018, would cost between 12 and 13 million dollars, although Mayor Bob Simpson noted that by the time they got to construction it would be a lot more than that.
Council plans to revisit the weight restriction question after staff comes back with the report that will also include the impact on the bridge’s lifespan with and without the restrictions.
Since the restrictions have been in place, logging truck traffic to the plywood plant as well as other industrial traffic has been diverted through Maple Drive in the Red Bluff area.
The bridge remains open for residential traffic and emergency traffic in the event of a fire.