By Richard Bell
Hidden within the 2022-2023 budget released on March 24 was a major change in plans for the Musquodoboit Harbour bridge: the Department of Public Works now plans to replace the bridge, at some indefinite time in the future.
The bridge was listed for rehabilitation in the 5-Year Highway Capital Plan 2022-2023, released on January 18, 2022, but was not listed in the 2022-2023 budget released on March 24.
In response to a question of why funding for the bridge had disappeared from the 2022-2023 budget, Deborah Bayer, Communications Advisor for DPW, emailed the following statement:
“The Department is working with a bridge design consultant to evaluate the bridge and determine the best option going forward. Through this initial work, it was determined to replace the bridge. Once the design is complete, we’ll be able to provide cost estimates and timelines for a new bridge. The department will continue to perform regular inspections and repairs as needed to the structure.”
The province will be replacing the wood-planked Hydes Bridge near Lantz in 2022-2023. This bridge has been closed since November 2019.