Bay Roberts re­plac­ing Klondyke Bridge

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

The Town of Bay Roberts is re­plac­ing the Klondyke Bridge.

At the town’s reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing on Apr. 12, of­fi­cials voted to use a por­tion of the town’s money from the Gas Tax In­vest­ment Plan to re­place the long­time thor­ough­fare be­tween Co­ley’s Point and Bay Roberts proper.

The Klondyke was orig­i­nally built in the late 1800s and was in­tended as a make-work project for the peo­ple of the area. It was orig­i­nally built by hand and served as a cause­way be­tween Bay Roberts and Co­ley’s Point.

As time went on, a bridge was built and in re­cent years, it un­der­went more al­ter­ations, which in­cluded a board­walk and seat­ing ar­eas.

In a mo­tion, the town agreed the use $405,828.62 of its por­tion of the gas tax to fund the re­place­ment of the bridge. In the same mo­tion, Bay Roberts agreed to use some $375,000 for street im­prove­ments to Kelly’s Road.

“That’s what the gas tax is for,” said Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood. “The last time the bridge was worked on was years ago.”

Over the past year, the Klondyle has gen­er­ated plenty of dis­cus­sion at the coun­cil ta­ble in the Con­cep­tion Bay North com­mu­nity. It was first brought up last June when cracks in the pave­ment were no­ticed.

The town had en­gi­neers look at the struc­ture af­ter that. They came back with a re­port that in­di­cated the bridge was safe and the town could ei­ther re­pair it or re­place the thing en­tirely.

“If you’re go­ing to fix the sub­struc­ture, you have to tear up the pave­ment any­way,” said Sean Elms, di­rec­tor of pub­lic works with Bay Roberts. “We fig­ured it was just as well to re­place it.”

Wood said the re­port said the bridge was safe and it could prob­a­bly last a cou­ple of more years, but the town wanted to get out in front of any is­sue it could.

“It’s a good time to do it,” he said. “We feel that it’d be bet­ter to get it done.”

The town wants to be proac­tive in its ap­proach to re­plac­ing Klondyke.

“We cer­tainly don’t want any ac­ci­dents,” said Wood. “If you wait too long, it could have an af­fect on things.”

There is no word on whether the new Klondyke will con­structed from the same ma­te­ri­als as the cur­rent one or whether it’ll be a steel con­struct.

Bay Roberts is wait­ing on a de­sign from St. John’s-based Pro­gres­sive Engi­neer­ing be­fore head­ing to ten­der for the project.

COM­PASS FILE PHOTO

The Klondyke Bridge in Bay Roberts is set to be re­placed.

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