City to widen road instead of replacing deteriorating bridge

Abbotsford will widen a short stretch of Quadling Road and decommission nearly 70-year-old North Parallel Road Bridge.

The City of Abbotsford plans to widen a short stretch of Quadling Road and close a nearby bridge.

The City of Abbotsford plans to widen a short stretch of Quadling Road and close a nearby bridge.

Faced with having to pay $5.6 million to replace a one-lane bridge on North Parallel Road, the City of Abbotsford will instead close the structure and widen a nearby road.

The wooden piles that hold the North Parallel Road bridge have been rotting for years, and in 2008, the city banned truck traffic in order to ease wear and tear on the structure, which provides access to around 25 properties between the Sumas and Vedder canals and was originally part of Highway 1.

With a structural condition rating of just 28 per cent, the bridge is far below the point at which replacement is recommended, the cost of which had been estimated at $5.6 million. But with a second one-lane route also available on nearby Quadling Road, council voted last week to close the bridge, which was built in 1947.

The city will spend $381,234 to double-lane a short stretch of Quadling Road to “address the high bridge replacement cost, but also provide a safe alternative route to the properties east of Sumas Canal.”

Mayor Henry Braun suggested the solution was so obvious, he was surprised it hadn’t been noted years earlier.

Abbotsford News