New plan will salvage historic foot bridge

Two years after it was closed down due to its unstable condition, the Ross River suspension bridge has been spared from demolition.

Two years after it was closed down due to its unstable condition, the Ross River suspension bridge has been spared from demolition.

Government officials recently made the announcement to residents of the community at a meeting on Tuesday.

The plan consists of two phases. The first one involves stabilizing each of the towers by building a secured brace.

“Pile-driven, cemented, and placed independently on either side of the existing tower using two 36 inch pipes connected with cross beams,” according to the Friends of the Ross River Foot Bridge Facebook page.

“The existing cabling will be lifted up and placed on this new head/cross beam. Phase two will involve tightening the sway cables, replacing deck flooring, and constructing new stairs.”

The new parameters will restrict the load capacity to 10 people at a time, the Facebook group said.

The bridge, built in 1944 by the U.S. Army to carry an oil pipeline over the river, was slated for demolition at the end of March.

It was chained off and closed to the public in August 2012.

Pelly-Nisutlin MLA Stacey Hassard, deputy ministers Jeff O’Farrell, Mike Johnson and Paul Moore, and Community Service’s Anthony DeLorenzo were on hand to make the announcement.

The group said the earliest possible start date for construction would be September 26.

The department of Community Services did not return a request for comment by press time.

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