The Village of Cache Creek is considering what can be done to physically restrict large vehicles on the Todd Street Bridge.
Chief Administrative Officer Damian Couture told council at a recent Committee of the Whole meeting that the decking is “not great” on the wooden crossing and one of the biggest issues in re-decking the bridge is that trucks continue to use the bridge regardless of what the village does.
Bars were placed over the bridge last spring in an effort to restrict large vehicles, for instance, but motorists just hit and destroyed them, Couture said. They’re still there pending a decision about what to do with them.
“We know a lot of people are driving over it with larger vehicles but it’s something that’s difficult to manage,” Couture told the Journal.
The Todd Street bridge is single-lane alternating, with a pedestrian walkway on one side, that leads to residential homes. One possibility is making the traffic lane narrower and increasing space for pedestrians and bikes, which would reduce the re-decking costs. Narrowing the traffic lane would also reduce truck traffic on the bridge, and reduce wear and tear.
Although it’s not a frequently travelled business route, Couture noted large trucks continue to use the bridge even though there is a detour just 500 metres away.
“The weight limit is there because that’s what it’s rated for. It has the potential to compromise the bridge and more wear and tear on the deck faster.”
Although the bridge is still “passable and driveable,” Couture estimates it will need to be re-decked this year. He said the village plans to reach out to a Kamloops engineer to assess the structure to ensure no additional repairs are needed, noting Cache Creek has experienced a lot of flooding in the past six years and staff wants to ensure the surface underneath is also safe.
“We do feel a professional needs to look at it before we spend a lot of money, especially with the price of lumber,” he said.
Couture said the village doesn’t plan to put the barriers back on the bridge at this time but will rely on word of mouth and media to encourage heavy traffic to stay off.
“We don’t have a solution aside from stopping traffic from crossing it. Hopefully, that has enough of an impact to deter some of the traffic.”
Mayor Santo Talarico at COW also suggested having the engineer determine the bridge’s capacity, to see if it would be possible to allow larger vehicles such as a fire engine to use the bridge, to provide faster access to the buildings at the north end of Old Cariboo Highway. Couture said fire engines cannot use the bridge now, as they are too heavy.