The Big Picture

Unpacking the Smith Bridge rebuild

There are some key pieces of the Smith Bridge worth mentioning. Use the infographic below to explore the challenges of this critical infrastructure, and some of the unique opportunities that underscore the need for a new build.

Ever-Shifting Status

Bridge Inspections

Each time the Province inspects the Smith Bridge, its timeline for replacement seems to get bumped.

2034 is the latest provincial start date (15 years beyond the bridge's engineered life span).

Size Matters

Size Matters

A covered bridge cannot accommodate the larger vehicles and equipment that work in the region’s industrial sector.

Also, the bridge’s inferior load capacity requires all industrial traffic to cross in a staggered manner.

Waiting Game

Waiting Game

The travelling public must frequently allow larger vehicles to cross before proceeding. Commercial traffic will occasionally get stuck on the bridge, resulting in considerable delays.

Diminishing Returns

Damaged Pier

In 2021, the MD spent $123,455 to partially replace the wooden bridge deck. Debris piles are periodically removed at a cost of about $50,000.

Proposed repair work exceeds a million dollars, which would buy the bridge just a few years of additional life at most.

Pier Pressure

Local Labour

A debris-created undercurrent has badly eroded ground cover for a support pier. It’s now just a half metre into the river bed instead of the minimum 2.5 m as required by code.

Recreation Route

Recreation Route

Locals and out-of-towners alike rely on the Smith Bridge to access gorgeous regional getaways like the Fawcett Lake campground.

A Way to Help Pay

A Way to Help Pay
A window of opportunity exists for the MD’s thriving oil & gas sector to offset the Smith Bridge rebuild costs. However, this opportunity will not exist forever.

Local Labour

Damaged Pier

From oil & gas to sand & gravel, the MD is home to a diversity of industrial operators who tap into local talent wherever possible.

A reliable bridge is critical to connecting the many contractors and support personnel to the companies that cultivate our thriving region.

Let's keep our pathway to progress intact.

From supporting a robust industrial sector to fostering the growth and diversification of our communities, there are numerous reasons why replacing this critical infrastructure before it fails is the right thing to do.

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