Whitehorse Daily Star

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AILING STRUCTURE – The Ross River bridge has been off limits since it was declared unsafe in 2013. The government could not provide information on a construction timeline this morning.

Near $4-million contract let for Ross River bridge

Surespan Construction Ltd. of North Vancouver, B.C.

By Stephanie Waddell on September 11, 2017

Surespan Construction Ltd. of North Vancouver, B.C. has been awarded a contract worth nearly $4 million to repair the suspension bridge in Ross River.

The Yukon government’s tender management system shows Surespan was the lowest of four companies to bid on the contract before the July 5 closing date.

While the closing date was more than two months ago, when all of the bids came in over estimate, the territory opted to take it back for an internal funding review.

The federal and territorial governments had jointly committed $3 million to repairing the 213-metre footbridge built in the 1940s that has been closed to the public since 2013, when it was determined through an inspection that it was too dangerous for use.

A total of $2.25 million was to come from the federal government’s Small Communities Fund while $750,000 was going to be provided by the territory.

Officials with the Yukon government were unavailable to the Star this morning to speak to where the additional funds would come from, and any timeline changes for the repairs that had originally been anticipated to be done this construction season.

While Surespan had the lowest bid for the work, the highest bid came in at $5.8 million from Formula Contractors of Prince George, B.C.

In the middle were CMF Construction Ltd. of Nanaimo, B.C., which bid just over $5 million, and Eiffage Innovative Canada Inc. of Burlington, Ont. which bid $5.3 million.

The territory has already spent $1.5 million-plus on design work and stabilizing the bridge’s north and south towers.

Comments (10)

Up 8 Down 1

YukonMax on Sep 15, 2017 at 7:46 am

As a matter of priority, housing should have come first. $5.5 millions builds a lot of houses. That bridge isn't wide enough to seek shelter underneath it. An M.O.U. should have been worked upon to acknowledge and address the bridge deficiencies at a later date.

Up 12 Down 1

Karl on Sep 14, 2017 at 10:07 pm

Does Ross River have anything worth more than 5 million? This ridiculous footbridge will probably end up being the most expensive structure there. Why not put the money into fixing the school that continues to sink into the melting permafrost.

Up 13 Down 0

Ross River Resident on Sep 14, 2017 at 7:08 pm

Since very few of our fellow Yukoners make it to Ross River, it might surprise them to know that we are using the bridge 4 or 5 times a week, and it is perfectly safe.

We use an aluminum extension ladder to get up to the bridge, pull the ladder up after us, walk to the other side and use the ladder to climb down. I think my nephew paid 50 or 60 bucks for the ladder he uses. If the Government was willing to spend 120 for two ladders, the problem would be solved.

Up 4 Down 6

big picture on Sep 14, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Hey, the government has $20 million a year, 'forever', to clean up after the Faro mine, I guess we can afford something for the First Nation who's traditional territory has been poisoned permanently by resource extraction. See it however you want. If they want their bridge fixed rather than a new bridge, then fix it. There's always lots of money for the mining industry. $360 million announced a couple weeks ago, to build and upgrade roads for mining companies. Complain about that for a change.

Up 11 Down 1

Anie on Sep 14, 2017 at 1:26 pm

Actually, it's just a perfect example of vote buying.

Up 17 Down 0

Nile on Sep 13, 2017 at 5:58 pm

Perfect example of government waste.

Up 28 Down 3

Yukon Watchdog on Sep 13, 2017 at 10:27 am

This is a great example of wasted money. Exactly how many Yukoners will be served by this $5.5 million?

Up 6 Down 36

Pete on Sep 12, 2017 at 9:39 am

Glad to see the old bridge up for repair. Down here on the coast it took most of my lifetime and endless controversy to upgrade the old Lions Gate bridge which like the Ross River bridge, connects two shores. Both are essential infrastructure relative to their locations.

Up 6 Down 24

Roger Ellis on Sep 11, 2017 at 9:57 pm

I hope the contractors keep the same design & just replace all cables & boards to preserve its history.
It would be nice to see a historic bridge contractor doing this contract to keep the same design as it is for a historic monument for all to see. Visitors & local people

Up 35 Down 2

Just Sayin' on Sep 11, 2017 at 9:16 pm

So they have put in 1.5 million in already and now another 4.0 million . For 500,000 more they could have installed a real bridge. Now, I am sure there are people who want to have the historic factor saved, but with the boards and everything else being replaced, the bridge will no longer have the historical factor. Yet another wasted amount of money!!!

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