An aging wooden bridge in the North Okanagan is slated to be replaced with a two-lane steel and concrete structure.
The Ministry of Transportation gave notice on April 4 that it has applied to the federal transport ministry to replace Baxter Bridge, which crosses the Shuswap River on Trinity Valley Road 11 km east of Enderby, and is at the end of its service life.
The bridge, built in 1950, underwent repairs throughout last year after ministry inspections uncovered serious structural issues in 2020.
The ministry is planning to replace the timber bridge with a two-lane steel and concrete bridge, built to last 75 years with improved safety, corridor reliability and load capacity.
The new bridge will be built 40 metres upstream of the existing structure, which will be removed once traffic is flowing on its replacement. The alignment of Trinity Valley and Miska roads will also be modified for enhanced safety.
The first phase of the utility relocations were completed earlier this year. There is currently no construction schedule while the ministry waits on permits and application processes to wrap up, but construction is expected to finish sometime in 2023.
In compliance with the Canadian Navigable Waters Act, the province is inviting input from all Shuswap River users, including boaters, paddlers and others who have an interest in accessing the river during construction. Comments and questions can be sent to project manager Scott McKenzie at Scott.McKenzie@gov.bc.ca.
The new bridge will allow for greater clearance, allowing boats to pass under it during high water, the ministry said.