Salmon Arm  

Trans-Canada bridge in Sicamous a national disgrace, and gross negligence, council says

'A national disgrace'

Sicamous council is sounding the alarm over the state of the R.W. Bruhn bridge on the Trans-Canada Highway.

The bridge is one of the major entrances to the community, and delays on its planned upgrading are bubbling over in frustration.

"We've received an email that the Bruhn bridge now is gonna be pushed off until beginning of next year until it goes to tender… The bridge is now a safety issue, it is rebar and concrete falling off the bottom. It's our major transport route through Canada, it's not the Bruhn bridge its the Trans-Canada Highway," said Mayor Colleen Anderson.

"I've asked the CSRD to write a letter to MOTI (Ministry of Transportation), Transport Canada and anyone else you want to include on that, MLA or whatever … I'm looking for council support for this letter," Anderson said during council's meeting Wednesday.

Coun. Ian Baillie had strong words on the issue.

"I think this is becoming a provincial disgrace. If it's not a national disgrace, it's pretty damn close to it," he said.

"I mean I came to Sicamous four and a half years ago and I was told that bridge was starting that year, and every single year there's another layer of BS that's put on the old excuse pile.

"What we do know is that people are going to die on that bridge, this is not a joke and it keeps getting pushed year after year after year. We almost had a car that went over the side railing. What if that happened in the summer and it fell on a boat or houseboat? I mean this has gone beyond being able to be pushed off," Baillie continued.

"I mean it's almost, in my opinion, gross negligence now to keep putting this off."

Council passed a motion to draft a letter requesting the Ministry of Transportation expedite the tender process in order to end bridge construction delays.

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