Neelco Construction will begin dismantling the old Kawkawa Lake Bridge on Aug. 8. Some non-structural pieces have already been removed

Bridge demolition timeline set

Dismantling of the old Kawkawa Lake Bridge is scheduled to begin on Aug. 8

Dismantling of the old Kawkawa Lake Bridge is scheduled to begin on Aug. 8.

Neelco Construction has already removed some non-structural pieces including the sidewalk, asphalt surface and part of the railing. However, the next phase must be completed during the “fish window,” when crews are able to work in the Coquihalla River without harming salmon, sturgeon and trout runs. The water level also needs to drop significantly before then.

“Right now we’re scheduling about three weeks to do it,” said Brian Lee, Neelco’s site project manager. “We need to put some scaffolding into the river to support the main span so we can take the overhead trusses off. It’s kind of a slow process and that includes all the piling that has to come out of the river.”

The bridge is considered both a historical landmark and tourist attraction because it was featured in the movie First Blood, which launched the Rambo series.

Despite a significant effort by a small committee to save the bridge, town manager Earl Rowe said safety concerns prompted the district’s decision to tear it down. High creosote levels in the wood can cause environmental damage when the hazardous substance seeps during the summer. The new structure is also wider and higher, reducing flood risks and allowing vehicles to pass easier.

“It’s age meant you couldn’t do major repairs to it in an economic fashion that would extend the life of the bridge,” said Rowe. “I received a detailed note from the Department of Fisheries saying that under no circumstances would they grant us the permit to build a new bridge without the commitment that the old one was coming off the river.”

Neelco is expected to use the wood in construction sites where creosote contamination is not a concern. Until needed, the creosote-soaked timbers will be stored by the company in Chilliwack, at no further liability to the District of Hope.

The company has also agreed to preserve several pieces of the bridge that were clearly visible in the Rambo film, including steel guard rails, tin facia strips and a small log on the upper span approach.


Just Posted

VIDEO: Child airlifted to hospital after crash in rural Langley

Jaws of life were used to cut off the roof of a car and free its occupants from a two-car accident.

Documentary filmed in Chilliwack nominated in the ‘Wildlife Oscars’

Toad People is the only Canadian film to be nominated in this year’s Panda Wilderness Awards

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Air quality advisory continues in the Lower Mainland

Smoke from Interior fires brings fine particulate

VIDEO: BC Lions Club hosts inaugural Floats Festival

First festival attracts more than 250 floaters

Trudeau says he won’t apologize to heckler, pledges to call out ‘hate speech’

Prime Minister had accused woman of racism as she shouted about illegal immigration at Quebec rally

B.C. man builds 10-foot sign thanking fire responders

Ken Rawson built his “thank u” sign on Saturday as helicopters responded to fires around the province.

PHOTOS: Olympian Patrick Chan helps B.C.’s ‘SuperChefs’ celebrate 10th anniversary

Former figure skater among those at event Friday in Surrey

Smaller B.C. bus service prepares to replace Greyhound

Kootenay-to-Okanagan run would require online reservations

Mother charged with homicide of Langley seven-year-old

Aaliyah Rosa’s 36-year-old mother charged with second degree murder: IHIT

Police ID Surrey man killed in fight at McDonald’s

Investigators ask anyone who knew Lakhwinder Singh Bal to speak with police, to help determine timeline ahead of ‘homicide’

5 to start your day

A man killed in Surrey, smoke continues to hang over the Lower Mainland and more

Air quality in Lower Mainland to hit ‘extreme risk’ as wildfire smoke settles in

Smoke is pouring in from the interior B.C. and fires down in the U.S.

Most Read