City eyes $6-million makeover for Overlanders Bridge
For more than four decades, thousands of cars have been crossing Overlanders Bridge every day, with all that traffic leading to wear and tear on the structure.
As city council grapples with this year's budget, a major project for the bridge is looming in 2013.
The city intends to resurface the entire bridge next year, with the work estimated to cost $6 million.
The plan is to spend $100,000 in 2012 to conduct an infrared study of the bridge deck to determine if there is any degradation to the structure underneath the asphalt that might need to be remediated.
"This will allow us to fine-tune the $6-million estimate for 2013," said David Duckworth, director of public works and sustainability, adding it is the type of project that needs to be done every 25 years.
The city already has the funds put aside for the study this year, but will need to borrow the $6 million to pay for the resurfacing in 2013.
The original plan was to undertake the project in 2015, but Duckworth said it's become more difficult to repair the deck in spots as years continue to pass.
Specifically, he said the deck needs to be remediated before more water and salt corrode the structure of the bridge.
A decision to move the project ahead two years will be made this year during council's budget-deliberation process.
However, regular users of the Overlanders don't need to worry the structure is about to collapse.
Duckworth noted the bridge is inspected every year by a structural engineer, adding no structural deficiencies have been found in past inspections.
The Lafarge Bridge in east Kamloops is the only other crossing the city is responsible for maintaining as all other spans fall under the jurisdiction of the province.