Bridge theft delays Langley traffic flow

The project to rebuild a bridge over the Nicomekl River has been delayed to the end of this month by the theft of building materials.

The bridge on 56th Avenue, just west of 212th Street, was scheduled to be finished by Jan. 31.

The actual work was on time, but was delayed when steel hangars were stolen last month, according to Duane Odenbach, a project engineer for Langley Township.

The hangars were custom-made pieces that suspended sewer, water, and gas lines from the bottom of the bridge deck.

Because they were custom-made, they had to be re-ordered and re-created before the work could be finished, said Odenbach.

The new completion date is expected to be Feb. 24. 

The delay has extended the closure of the stretch of 56th Avenue between 212th Street and the Langley Bypass, blocking one of the Township’s major east-west transportation routes.

The cost of the theft will be dealt with through the contractor’s insurance, said Odenbach.

“It’s not actually a direct cost or any impact to the Township,” he said.

The budget for the project is just under $4 million before taxes.

The new bridge will be two meters higher than the old wooden structure it is replacing, to be able to survive a once-in-200-years flood, Odenbach said.

It will be wider, able to accommodate up to four lanes of traffic in the future for when 56th Avenue is widened to the east, and will have bike lanes and pedestrian sidewalks.

The bridge is designed with the expectation that it will stand for about 75 years.

A similar replacement went on several years ago for Langley City’s bridge over the Nicomekl on Fraser Highway to the south.

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