Overpass repairs begin this week
Construction is expected to begin today (June 5) or tomorrow as the city has moved up the date it expects the Tranquille Overpass to re-open.
Jim McNeely, city streets manager, is now predicting a June 12 opening for the overpass, which has been shut to traffic since May 11, when a truck towing an excavator clipped it and cracked the concrete.
The new re-opening date is five days earlier than the city’s last projection because the Surrey-based firm hired for the job is hoping to minimize its time in the city.
McNeely said the firm has permission from the city to work on the overpass past midnight.
McNeely said it is likely repair crews will be putting in long days to get the work done.
“We’re happy with that,” he said. “We’re hopeful the contractor is going to be able to get the job done without any problems.”
Work this week will lead to some lane shutdowns on Fortune Drive immediately north of Overlanders Bridge.
McNeely said traffic will be restricted to one lane in each direction at times, but most of the work involving significant shutdowns will be scheduled after the afternoon rush hour.
To repair the span, workers will chip out loose concrete around the crack, reform the bent rebar underneath and patch it up with new concrete.
The cost of the repairs is $37,407. The city has filed a claim with ICBC for the damage to the pass and will be asking for reimbursement once work is complete.
It’s not clear yet if the overpass will be open to morning traffic on June 12. McNeely said the exact time of the reopening will depend on how quickly the concrete cures.
Just a week after the accident closed the overpass, businesses in the Tranquille Market shopping district along Tranquille Road told KTW sales were down.
The overpass feeds traffic directly into the area.
Bruno’s Cold Beer and Wine manager Tricia Bertin said the store was affected on the day of the accident.
“It definitely made a difference in our sales.” Bertin said.
Butler Auto & RV owner Joel Butler, whose business is well-established and located just off the overpass, said the closure immediately impacted his sales in a big way.
In an attempt to help traffic access Tranquille Market without being forced north to the intersection of Tranquille Road, Fortune Drive and Eighth Street, city crews have removed left-turn restrictions for northbound vehicles at Fortune Drive and Fort Avenue.
Crews have also added a controlled left-turn arrow, timed with the green light.