Minister Bill Bennett, MLA for Kootenay East, joined Lois Halko, Mayor of Sparwood; Mike Sosnowski, Regional Director; Ken Wildeman, Elkford Councillor; Mary Giuliano, Mayor of Fernie; Jack Bennetto, Rocky Mountain District Manager, Highways; and Mandy McGregor, Elkford Councillor to celebrate the completion of the Alexander Bridge on November 4.
The $5.3 million project replaced the old bridge over Alexander Creek, built in 1953, with a new two-lane bridge and the straightening of approaches to the bridge, improving safety for motorists along the section of highway east of Sparwood.
The bridge and realignment each cost $2 million.
“To spend that little for such improved alignment for the cost spent is great,” said Jack Bennetto, Rocky Mountain District Manager, Highways.
Insurance companies and locals knew the area for its high accident rates. Truckers referred to the previous bridge as the “rabbit run”.
“We’ve received a lot of compliments already from truckers and the public stating that it’s a great improvement,” said Bennetto. “The previous bridges were made of overhead steel. They were narrower, shorter and full of problems.”
The newer bridges are approximately three metres wider and the approaches have less sharp curves.
The construction began in May by Copcan Contracting Ltd. from Nanaimo.
“The Alexander Bridge is a very important safety improvement to Highway 3,” said Bill Bennett, MLA for Kootenay East. This bridge is one of several bridges that our government has replaced since first being elected in 2001. As of today, we are pleased to announce that all of the bridges between Fernie and the Alberta border have been replaced, improving safety and comfort for all motorists.”
Learn more about transportation projects happening throughout B.C. at: www.th.gov.bc.ca/tranprojectsbc/