MISSION, B.C.—The chair of the Fraser Valley Regional District says the closure of the Dewdney Slough Bridge means about 3,500 people will have to take a 60-kilometre detour.
The bridge, about eight kilometres east of the community of Mission, was closed Thursday morning when a maintenance contractor noticed a shift in the structure.
The Ministry of Transportation says engineers learned that the top of a wooden support pile had weakened and the bridge settled down onto a stronger section of the pile, creating a dip in the bridge deck.
The bridge is not in danger of collapsing, although the ministry doesn’t know when it will reopen and the closure could last days.
Fraser Valley Regional District chair and Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz says the bridge hasn’t fallen down and it’s not safe to drive on, but foot traffic is allowed across, which is a relief to the parents of school children.
Transportation Minister Todd Stone says the closure will be a tremendous inconvenience because the average daily traffic is just under 17,000.
Motorists are asked to detour on Highway 1, using Highway 11 through Mission in the west or Highway 9 through Agassiz in the east.
Stone has apologized for the closure and inconvenience but says that safety trumps everything.