Locals have been watching the spectacle of the $12.5-million Vedder Bridge Replacement Project in Chilliwack with great interest.
Bridge foundation and steel fabrication work has been underway on-site for months.
Cultus Lake resident Ann Ellemo contacted The Progress to find out when, and how the contractors would be moving the main bridge structure out over the Vedder River.
“We’ve all been sitting here wondering how they are going to move it,” Ellemo said.
“The whole thing has been fascinating to watch.”
She said they have to cross the old Vedder bridge coming down from the lake almost every day, leaving extra time of course because of the expected traffic delays over the construction period.
The new two-lane steel arch bridge structure will be pushed out over the Vedder River beside the existing bridge, and set into position on its concrete pier on the south side of the waterway.
At this point word is that the final move with heavy equipment will be conducted on an unspecified date in early to mid April, said city engineering officials, as contractors rush to complete the final tasks.
The bridge move will be spread out over the course of an entire day, but it is not known yet which date it will proceed, only that it should be some time in April.
Watch for the ads announcing the date in the Chilliwack Progress in the coming weeks.
City crews have set up two sets of bleachers behind the yellow safety fence on the west side of the construction zone in anticipation of any local residents who may want to watch the process next month, as the bridge is finally moved into place.
The contractors, Emil Anderson Construction, are building the long awaited new bridge to replace the existing bridge, which was built in 1947 and in need of replacement in part because it did not meet flood requirements.
The new one will feature wider travel lanes, shoulders, multi-use pathways for pedestrians and cyclists, and a new roundabout at Vedder/Chilliwack Lake Road. Substantial completion of the Vedder Bridge replacement is expected by Fall 2017.