Dry Gulch bridge reopened to traffic

By on December 4, 2017
The Dry Gulch Bridge on the Coquihalla Highway, just south of the former toll booth plaza, is a steel arch span. Ministry of Transportation photo

The Coquihalla Highway’s Dry Gulch bridge has reopened this month as expected.

After undergoing resurfacing and structural work over the summer for the first time since being constructed more than 30 years ago, all lanes of traffic over the bridge have reopened, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced via press release Monday (Dec. 4).

“These upgrades strengthen the bridge and provide a safer, smoother ride for all motorists,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena. 

Most of the $5.1 million project took place over the summer, involving concrete deck resurfacing of all four lanes, and replacement of abutment bearings and expansion joints.

Built in 1985, the bridge is located approximately 65 kilometres south of Merritt. Final clean up work at the site will be completed in the spring.

The rehabilitation work on the Dry Gulch bridge is one of two key projects on the Coquihalla Highway. The province is also working on an expanded chain-up area at Box Canyon, 40 kilometres north of Hope, that will improve safety and mobility along the highway.

“The improvements will ensure commercial trucks have a safe location off the highway, and outside of avalanche paths, to install and remove chains,” the press release went on to state.

Portions of the Box Canyon project are already complete, including an increased chain-up for this winter, the extension of the third southbound lane out of the snow shed and a new runaway lane. Next spring the final build-out of the chain-up will be completed.

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