CEC recently got the privilege of working for Parks Canada replacing a bridge on the wild West Coast. This world-renowned trail was built hundreds of years ago to assist mariners who got washed up on the coast to allow them to telegraph to neighbouring villages and find their way back to safety. While most of the trail remains in its original state, certain elements, such as Bridge 74, have been upgraded for the safety of the 7,500 hikers who now trek this historic monument annually.
This bridge replacement was a challenging project due to its remote nature. Typically, we would use a crane to erect the girders and ensure the superstructure is in place, however, with this location, we had to get creative and hoist in the structural elements with a helicopter. As for tools and equipment on site, we had to do most of the work manually, including manipulating the girders once they landed on the cast-in-place abutments/pedestals. Our crew camped on the beach a couple kilometres from the site and hiked in and out each day to the bridge. One of the most challenging aspects of this project was the timing. We were awarded this work on May 10th, and the bridge needed to be completed, installed and open to hikers on June 4th. From the moment we were given the “go”, we procured the materials, fabricated the bridge, had it galvanized, mobilized to site and installed it in a total of 23 days. When some people had doubts, we proved them wrong by having this bridge open to the public with 2 days to spare!