INVERNESS COUNTY: Traffic remains reduced to one lane over a bridge located just south of Port Hood.

“In early December 2017, a bridge inspection revealed a number of broken piles on the right lane of the bridge towards Port Hood,” said Darren Blundon, of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (DTIR). He is the area manager for Inverness South, Richmond, and Iona.

“The damage was worse than the most recent inspection and was identified as a safety hazard especially for heavier loading which could cause further damage.”

Blundon was referencing to the Captain Gillis Bridge located on Route 19. Initially, a weight restriction of five tonnes was put in place, but that’s been lifted.

“On December 20, a decision was made by our bridge engineering staff to place a five-ton weight restriction on the bridge and take the heavier traffic off the damaged section,” he said.

“Vehicles over five tons were directed to a detour. Between Christmas and New Years, a contractor strengthened the broken piles to allow the restriction to be lifted for one-lane traffic.”

Blundon and the DTIR are currently waiting for an engineering assessment and cost estimate for repairs. Once the estimate is received, a decision will be made as to the best course of action for repair.

“It is anticipated that this decision will be made by early February,” he said. “A tender will be issued once the design is ready.”