PENTICTON - As bridges go, one wouldn’t think the new Satik bridge currently under construction at Green Avenue and the Channel Parkway in Penticton would be a very complicated project.
After all, it’s a small bridge, with a low span running a distance of 100 feet or so.
But there is more to the Satik Bridge than meets the eye say representatives of the Penticton Indian Band Development Corporation.
For instance, there were numerous technical, regulatory, tenure and environmental issues that needed to be resolved prior to the bridge clearing ministry approval for construction.
The Ministry of Environment, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources, Canadian Wildlife Services and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure all had regulations that needed approval before construction could begin.
The project had to start in early January in order to complete in-stream works within the Ministry of Environment’s window to protect fish and marine life in the channel.
Prior to the start of any physical work, a team of engineers including hydrogeologists, geotech engineers and bridge engineers spent nearly six months designing and achieving Ministry of Transportation approvals.
Over the past few weeks, piles have been driven into the east and west banks of the channel, ranging in depth from 80 to 95 feet. The piles are being driven to a required resistance as determined to meet the load bearing requirements of the bridge, which, at five lanes in width, is designed to handle 2,200 vehicles per hour.
Tons of dirt lining the Channel Parkway’s currently closed lanes were removed from the channel during construction of the bridge’s support column.
A number of huge plastic totes sitting on the roadway will be placed in the channel to divert water away from the pilings and forms that will be used to make the support columns for the bridge.
The bridge is scheduled for completion in November 2015. Road development across the channel is expected within six months of the bridge’s completion, along with other infrastructure such as water, sewer and shallow utilities.
Traffic patterns along Green Avenue and the Channel Parkway are expected to remain as they are now until June, when it is hoped two lanes will be open for north and southbound traffic along Highway 97, in anticipation of heavier summer traffic. Access from Green Avenue is expected to be re-routed, with alternate routes well signed.
A spokesman for the PIBDC said the bridge proved to be an extremely difficult project to get all the necessary approvals for, but was considered very important to the Penticton Indian Band and the future economy of the region.
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