Anne Cameron, a former West Hants councillor, has been fielding questions from locals curious about the weight restrictions recently imposed on the Sangster Bridge.
The relatively new, one-lane bridge carries traffic over the Avon River, from Hwy 14 in Windsor Forks to Upper Falmouth, and vice versa, via the Sangster Bridge Road.
The structure, Cameron says, was replaced in 2009 in order to safely handle heavier loads. Until recently, when a weight restriction of five tonnes was enforced, it has done just that.
“Now all the truckers in the loaded wood and water trucks, and the school buses, can’t go over the (bridge),” said Cameron, detailing the concerns she has been hearing.
Cameron said she has been seeking answers for why the restrictions are necessary. She says she was told the bridge is twisted.
Steve Smith, a communications officer with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, said the restriction was imposed because of a slight misalignment.
“The department is working with the manufacturer to determine, as quickly as possible, the reason for the misalignment, to correct the problem, and to remove the weight restriction in the earliest possible timeframe,” Smith said.
“To ensure public safety, however, the weight restriction will remain in effect until we are 100 per cent sure of the root cause (of the misalignment).”
Smith said the bridge is still safe for passenger vehicles.
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal awarded Dexter Construction Co. Ltd. the $1, 072,585 contract to replace the Sangster Bridge.
The weight capacity of the old bridge was 25 tonnes. The new structure could carry all legal highway loads when it was finished in December 2009.