The Ministry of Transportation is planning to host an open house in the fall on options for replacing the Bruhn Bridge.

Public to see Bruhn Bridge replacement options in the fall

Residents to have opportunity in the fall to review and provide input on design options for the Bruhn Bridge replacement.

Sicamous residents will have an opportunity in the fall to review and provide input on design options for the Bruhn Bridge replacement.

Ralph English, an engineering consultant with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, offered this information last week during a brief presentation to Sicamous council. He said the ministry is currently in the middle of “preliminary design,” looking at different costs of different options.

“Nothing has been decided and we’re just confirming that we’re down to several options and the intention would be to refine those over the next couple of months in terms of costs and alternatives so that we can come back to the community sometime in the fall for public input on the options,” said English.

At the proposed open house, English said the ministry would make sure those options are available for input, with explanations behind each one so the public will know how they were arrived at. He noted some options are already “off the table” due to such things as environmental concerns and in some cases prohibitively expensive.

“What I can tell you up front is that all of the solutions are very, very complex and expensive in this area, but recognizing… we need to solve the solutions both in terms of replacing the bridge and safety at the existing intersections,” said English, adding illustrations of each of the more successful options will be available at the open house. “We’ll have some sketches and things like that so if you’re looking at it you can the get the juices flowing and make some informed decisions on how you feel about it.”

Looking further ahead, English said that after the open house, the ministry would proceed into the design stage. He estimated this might take a year to a year-and-a-half, after which the project would go to tender.

“We need approval to get to the design stage, and we can see some elements there, particularly the bridge itself, is probably going to be a little more complicated than say a normal four-laning section that isn’t in the middle of a community.”

English provided no comment on whether or not a bridge from Old Spallumcheen to Main Street is being considered in tandem with the Bruhn replacement.

Nanaimo-based surveying company 3D Geomatics lists the Bruhn Bridge as one of its projects for June 2015. The project included the production of “bridge site plans for Bruhn and Main Street bridges.”