Bridge in need of repairs; flaggers on scene

Staff

Sunset Drive, which turns to Highway 602, has been a favourite detour around the Fort Frances Kings Highway construction light this summer. But with heavy traffic expected this weekend for the Emo Fall Fair, Alberton clerk Dawn Hayes wants everyone to be aware of the state of a bridge along the route first.

On August 12, the Township of Alberton received a request from resident Les Kaun. In a letter to council, he asked that the Township provide dates for the removal or replacement of the Bailey Bridge on Highway 602 near Bone Road.

“The current state of the bridge is unsafe,” wrote Kaun. “The attempts to band-aid patch have been unsuccessful.”

He wrote that this problem has been ongoing for five years. In the letter, Kaun outlined points he said were voiced by the community.

“The bridge needs to be removed — the bridge is not safe — want this completed by the end of next year and not another five years.”

Kaun provided a series of images along with his letter, showing blocks of wood under the bridge’s supports. The bridge has a distinct divot at its west end as well, causing vehicles to slow down substantially with each pass overtop.

For the time being, flaggers are keeping the bridge to one-way traffic. This essentially makes sure that there is not more than one vehicle on the bridge at a time. There is also a vehicle weight restriction in place. One of the safety flaggers told the Times that MTO is working on a plan to fix the bridge. Workers on site said they did not know how long the bridge would be under these constraints, but expected it to be at least over the weekend, if not longer.

A photo submitted to Alberton council shows the structure under Bailey Bridge. Residents looking for an easy Kings Highway construction detour on their way to the Emo Fair are asked to avoid the bridge, so extra weight doesn’t fur- ther degrade the structure. – Les Kaun photo