City of Merritt to contract Emil Anderson Construction for the construction of the replacement Middlesboro Bridge.

The City will be investing $12,545,974.43 for Phase 2B of the Middlesboro Bridge replacement construction.

Middlesboro Bridge was destroyed during the 2021 atmospheric river, cutting off Collettville from Downtown Merritt and forcing residents to cross using bridges on Main Street and Houston Street. 

Founded in 1938 in Fort William, Ontario, Emil Anderson Construction (EAC) has worked on notable projects such as the Vedder Bridge replacement in Chilliwack as well as 3.7 kilometres of a four lane highway in Chase, B.C.

The initial request for proposal cost was $14,926,856.28. Through the design stage, council was able to lower the costs to $12,545,974.43.

Sean Strang, the director of flood recovery and mitigation noted in the March 26 city council meeting agenda that Phase 2B, the construction of the bridge itself, may be delayed by two permits: the Crown Land Occupancy Permit and most notably Section 11 from the Ministry of Water, Land, and Resources Stewardship (WLRS).

“A delay of this permit by more than 1.5 months will cause the fish window for in river works to be missed and would cause the installation of the new bridge deck to be pushed in to 2025 unless WLRS approves an extension to the fish window. The Crown Land Occupancy is in the works and should not affect the project schedule,” said Strang.

Strang also noted that if contracts are not signed by the end of the month, a delay of even one month will push portions of construction into November and December.

Through provincial contributions and recovery funding, the province has agreed to fund the entire cost of the replacement bridge.