PORT ROYAL: An aging bridge serving three communities on Isle Madame is under a weight restriction as the province continues to monitor its condition.

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal’s Eastern District bridge engineer, Chasta Boudreau explained that a regular inspection “identified deterioration of the bridge foundations” and a five-tonne weight restriction was placed on the Port Royal bridge.

Boudreau said the bridge currently receives regular inspections.

“The bridge is safe for the weight restriction posted on the bridge,” she responded via e-mail.

“The amount of time it will remain in this state depends on many factors, some of which include weather conditions, traffic volumes, ice conditions, subsurface soil conditions, if movement occurs in the foundations, whether the posted weight restriction is followed.”

Photo by Jake Boudrot
There is currently a weight restriction on this bridge which serves the communities of Port Royal, St. Mary’s and Janvrin’s Island.

The weight restriction prohibits school buses, tractors, tractor trailers, and other heavy vehicles, from using the span, Boudreau explained.

While prohibiting larger vehicles, Boudreau said the weight restriction allows the majority of local traffic to cross, and those who cannot access the bridge, only have to travel 850 metres to the alternate route

Although she said “there are no current plans to undertake repairs,” Boudreau said she is “keeping a close eye on the bridge” and is working on a proposal.

“I have scheduled a full inspection of the bridge be completed by an outside source, Wood Research and Development Canada, which will evaluate the condition of the bridge and provide recommendations,” Boudreau wrote.

“The report will be evaluated and consideration given to emergency services and how long the detour is. We are also in the process of doing a study of the location to assess the impacts of closing the bridge. This will all be taken into consideration when determining the future of the bridge.”