City of Brandon Will Review Options For 8th Street Bridge

August 18, 2015

Brandon, MB – The City of Brandon wishes to advise the public it will be seeking cost estimates on the various options for the future of 8th Street Bridge, with recommendations on next steps for the structure available for City Council’s consideration later this fall.

The bridge was closed to all vehicle traffic last month, after a detailed assessment from the City’s consulting engineer, Dillon Consulting Ltd., determined the bridge’s load capacity could no longer safely handle vehicle traffic. The complete closure followed the initial closure of the bridge’s southbound lane in May after issues with that specific lane’s expansion joints. A detailed assessment has since determined that several areas of the 1934 portion of the structure have degraded faster than anticipated, and recommended full closure of the bridge to vehicle traffic as a matter of prudent public safety.

“Right now, options for the 8th Street Bridge range from retrofitting the structure into a shared pathway for cyclists and pedestrians, a partial rehabilitation and a return to limited use by passenger vehicles, to full reconstruction of a new bridge in the same location or a new location, “ explains City of Brandon Director of Engineering Services and Water Resources Patrick Pulak. “So, we will be seeking cost estimates from Dillon Consulting on all these different options and will then present them to City Council so it can make an informed decision on the bridge’s future.”

Once Brandon City Council has been presented with options in late-September, a public information and consultation process is anticipated in October/November, with a final recommendation and implementation anticipated in December.

“We know we need to move quickly on the matter of the bridge, both in the interest of public safety and for the overall quality-of-life of area residents and motorists,” notes Brandon Mayor Rick Chrest. “I and Council are now eagerly awaiting the cost assessment from our consulting engineer so we can then move forward with a public conversation on this important matter.”

In the meantime, the City’s Engineering Department will move forward with reconfiguration of the crosswalk, traffic control, and traffic calming measures at the south base of the bridge. The 3-way stop signs that had been in place at the base of the bridge have been removed and will be replaced with an at-grade pathway crossing. Stop signs are now in place at the intersection of the 8th Street Bus Mall to aid in safe pedestrian access.