Bridge replacement put off to 2018

By: 
Gordon Lambie
Staff Writer

The Bishop’s Bridge will not be closed this summer, after all. Having been left in the dark for months by Quebec’s Transport Ministry (MTQ) about when the work to replace the bridge deck would begin, Lennoxville Borough President David Price said that the city has now received notice that the closure has been postponed until the summer of 2018.

“They officially told us, next year,” Price said.

The Borough President had stated at last week’s borough council meeting that the work on the bridge had to be started immediately or else left until next summer in order to make sure that the eight week closure didn’t overlap with the start of the school year.
The work to be done is the complete replacement of the faulty Sandwich Plate System (SPS) installed as a deck for the bridge in 2005. Made of two sheets of metal bound together with an epoxy, the SPS was expected to be a thin and strong alternative to rebuilding the bridge. The material proved problematic, however, when the sandwiched plates started to come apart under the weight of college street traffic.

As a result of this fault, the bridge has required regular repair and injections of epoxy in order to combat the effects of wear and tear on the plates. Since the issue with the SPS is considered to be a manufacturing fault, all repairs have been paid for by the manufacturer of the panels rather than by the MTQ.

The Record attempted to contact the MTQ for information on what kind of work might need to be done on the bridge to extend its life for another year, but received no response.

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