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File Photo: Wayne Moore - Castanet
File Photo: Wayne Moore - Castanet

Watery grave may await pontoons

by - Story: 43702

About a dozen concrete pontoons may get a watery grave after all.

The pontoons, remnants of the old Okanagan Lake Floating Bridge, have been moored next to the new bridge while the Ministry of Environment decides their ultimate fate.

Officials with SNC Lavalin had hoped to sink the pontoons in two areas of the lake, north of Kelowna not far off Bear Creek Park and south of town near Rattlesnake Island.

Valley municipalities, Regional Districts and Irrigation Districts have all voiced some opposition, many asking what impact displaced sediment would have on the lake and drinking water.

Some of those concerns may have been alleviated after SNC Lavalin announced it had found a new disposal site more than a kilometre away from the nearest water intake in McKinley Landing.

SNC Lavalin, which built the new Bennett Bridge, is also responsible for decommissioning the old structure.

The terms of the contract indicate Lavalin has 12 months from the opening of the new bridge to dispose of the old structure.

It had been hoped many of the pontoons would have been sunk by now.

The pontoons cannot be sunk until approval is obtained from the Ministry of Environment.

SNC Lavalin is hoping to have a definitive answer early in the new year.

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