The Provincial and Federal governments have announced plans to replace the Parsnip River Bridge near Mackenzie. BC Transportation Minister Todd Stone announced the $31 million project Thursday morning in Mackenzie.
Stone says the project will improve safety and capacity on Highway 97, a significant provincial transportation route. “The replacement of the Parsnip River Bridge will remove another height restriction from this corridor, and help keep commercial traffic flowing safely and smoothly,” said Stone.
Federal Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Shoi said the feds are working with the province to “make smart infrastructure investments that help grow the middle class, promote sustainable development and increase public safety. By supporting improvements to critical transportation routes in the province, we will help local businesses move their goods to national and international markets and will foster long-term prosperity for years to come.”
Prince George Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris says the project will support the industry in the north. “The new bridge will eliminated the current height restrictions and will have a greater capacity to accomodate heavy loads required to service resource industries like mining, forestry, oil and gas”.
The Federal government will contribute $13,653,246 towards the bridge replacement and the province will cover the remaining costs. The current steel truss bridge was built in 1953 will be replaced with a wider, open-top structure that can handle larger loads along the major commercial corridor.
Construction is expected to start in the fall of 2017 and be completed by the summer of 2019.