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Opening of new Chemainus River Bridge delayed by 5 1/2 weeks
Chemainus River Bridge's reopening will take at least five more weeks after earlier hiccups started a domino effect, the project's contractor explained.
North Cowichan council announced Monday the $5-million rural span between Chemainus and Crofton, won't be ready until Nov. 25 — a 5 1/2-week delay beyond the previous Oct. 17 opening date.
Paul Simpson of Jacob Brothers Construction signalled the later wait was basically started back in June.
"The main reason the job is delayed was delays in getting the hydro lines moved," he told the News Leader Pictorial Tuesday.
"That created a snowball effect, with some other changes. It's basically due to relocation of hydro lines."
That work stalled the start of bridge work for about a week after the project was to have begun June 11.
Another snag occurred when a bridge worker was electrocuted June 18.
He survived. Details about exactly how the near-tragedy happened have not been released.
Brass at the nearby Halalt First Nation band office were taking the bridge's completion gap in stride — while already dealing with chronic speeders.
"At this point (the bridge delay) isn't a big deal," said Lonnie Norris, Halalt's assistant-manager.
The longer bridge completion just means more traffic, from the Crofton Ferry and mill, for a longer period on Chemainus Road where the Halalt erected speed-reader board to slow bad drivers, including scofflaws who pass school buses.
Norris said the speed-readers aren't working "as well as we hoped."
The band has taken its road concerns to B.C. highways' agents, police, and North Cowichan council.
Mayor John Lefebure explained the bridge project is on budget, but delays can happen as timelines are basically a calculated guess.
"You estimate how long it will take; it's impossible to know exactly how long (a job) will take."
Lefebure sympathized with the longer inconvenience to folks using the bridge, but indicated the span is a unique engineering animal that can pose glitches.
"I have no indication if (another delay) will happen, and I don't expect it, but I can't guarantee it."