December 22, 2017 5:26 pm

North Okanagan Bridge won’t be fixed before Christmas

The Ministry of Transportation initially expected the Morgan Bridge to be fixed by Dec. 22 but said Friday that the opening will be delayed until mid-January.

Dan Couch / Global News

There’s was bad news on Friday for some north Okanagan drivers who were expecting an important commuter bridge to be fixed before Christmas.

The Morgan Bridge on Heywood Armstrong Road has been impassable since early May when flood waters eroded the banks of the Salmon River and washed out part of the bridge.

READ MORE: North Okanagan drivers frustrated over damaged bridge that’s gone months without repairs

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The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure initially expected the bridge to be fixed by Dec. 22 but said Friday that the opening will be delayed until mid-January.

The province said the project is delayed because the soil was different from what officials expected and that meant the design for the bridge repairs had to be changed.

The ministry said extra piles need to be put in to safely support the bridge and crews are expected to work through the holidays to finish the project by Jan. 12.

“We are adding an extra span on the bridge as well as bank protection, which will improve water and debris passage through the bridge,” the ministry said in a statement.

READ MORE: Nearly 7 months after it was washed out, province fixing north Okanagan bridge

Construction work to repair the bridge began in late November.

The lengthy delay in fixing the span has frustrated people in the Salmon River Valley who have been taking a long detour to get around the closure.

The province said it took months for repairs to begin mostly because of the engineering requirements of the project.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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