The new five-tonne load limit on the Big Eddy Bridge was posted last Friday.

Big Eddy Bridge gets load bump

The load limit on the Big Eddy Bridge was upgraded to five tonnes last week – short of the 10 tonne limit that repairs done to the bridge were supposed to achieve.

“What we were aiming at was a 10 tonne limit. We actually achieved that structurally but in terms of the longevity of the bridge and a better long-term plan, five tonnes will give us a greater service,” said Art McLean, the district operations manager for the B.C. Ministry of Transportation. “We’re posting it to five and I think that actually addresses the greater need for not only access now but longer-term access as well.”

The Big Eddy Bridge was reduced to a two-tonne load limit in June 2009. Repairs to the bridge started in late-September, 2010, and were completed in October however the load limit was not upgraded until last Friday.

The repairs were supposed to give the 85-year-old bridge another ten years of life, however McLean said “that’s for mother nature to figure out.”

“Are we going to get 10 years? We’re very confident we’re going to get 10,” McLean told the Times Review. “We’re actually very confident we’ll have better options in 10 years than if we actually post it at 10 tonnes. that’s one of the reasons why we’ve gone to the five tonnes.

“Will we get 10? As long as Mother Nature co-operates we’re very optimistic that’s been achieved.”