As many may have either heard or experienced, there was an issue with the bridge over Sooke River today (May 8, 2015), impacting both traffic coming to Sooke, and traffic leaving in the mid afternoon.
We at Sooke PocketNews contacted the Ministry of Transportation to find out more. After convincing them that we were a legitimate news source in Sooke, they released the following information:
In a nutshell, it appears that a metal plate “covering the curing concrete” had shifted, resulting in the need for immediate attention. However, the ministry assures us, “There are no safety concerns to the travelling public.”
Immediate need for repairs explained[sam id=”5″ codes=”true”]Joanne Whittier, a Manager of Communications with the Ministry, sent us the following points (bullet points are directly quoted):
- Work on the Sooke River Bridge is scheduled to take place at night.
- However, a metal plate covering the curing concrete shifted.
- Crews were on site from 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. to perform repairs so temporary traffic control was necessary.
- Crews will be back on site beginning Monday, May 11 at 9:00 p.m.
Traffic was back to its regular afternoon flow by 4 p.m.
As for the maintenance currently underway, Whittier indicated that the ongoing overnight repairs concern a bridge joint.
“The joint consists of two reinforced steel plates that are anchored into the bridge deck,” details the communication received from the Ministry. “A rubber seal is compressed between the two plates. The joint exists to allow for normal expansion and contraction of the bridge deck, due to temperature changes. Over time the joints need to be replaced to extend the life span of the bridge.”
This maintenance work is being done overnight in order to reduce the impact on the travelling public. All bridges are inspected annually and there are no safety concerns, the bridge is safe.
The work should be completed by May 22. Signage will be posted for the duration of the project.
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