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Bridge replacement set to begin after years of planning

Work is set to begin now and carry on until early August. Hornepayne Lumber has advised residents and workers of alternate access routes.

HORNEPAYNE — Out with the old, in with the new.

Hornepayne Lumber LP has announced that work is set to begin to replace the Beaton River Bridge at kilometre 22 on Haken Lake Road from starting today until around Aug. 8.

Access is still available to residents and travellers via Breckenridge, Martin, Black Beaver, North and South Larkin Roads, which will remain open and posted.

Trevor White, forest operations superintendent for Hornepayne Lumber, told Dougall Media the company has been planning this bridge replacement for a few years.

“Basically, what we’re doing is we’re pulling out the old bridge and replacing it with a new bridge – it’ll be a different style of bridge,” White said.

The new bridge will span 90 feet as opposed to the current bridge which is 60 feet long.

White said the added length will address a deficiency in the current bridge.

“When it was installed, the soil-bearing capacity on one side of the bridge wasn’t quite up to snuff. One of the cribs had started shifting a little bit so . . . we priced out a repair versus a full replacement and since that particular piece of road is a high traffic area, not only for the public but for the forest industry and all of the other forest users, we made the decision to replace the whole bridge itself,” he said.

White also mentioned the project is funded by the Ontario Provincial Roads Funding program.

“All of the forest units across Ontario are allocated a certain number of dollars based on the volume they cut annually and it’s usually a five-year rolling average.

“That money allows us to do projects like this,” he said.

The new bridge is modular and will be installed in sections.

With work beginning today to prep the site, White said the new bridge is expected to arrive in pieces on Wednesday.

"It benefits all of the different users of the forest - including trappers, campers, ATVers, hunters, fishers, the forest industry - so we're investing in the long-term usage of forest access roads in Ontario," he said.

Austin Campbell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Austin Campbell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Austin Campbell is a local journal initiative reporter covering stories in the Superior North region.
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