One of the main east-west sneaks across the Capilano River is closing to vehicle traffic next week and won’t reopen until the end of the summer.
The Welch Street Bridge, which is owned by Park Royal on land leased from the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), is due for repair work on the bridge deck, according to Park Royal.
For much of 2021, the bridge was reduced to single-lane alternating traffic while crews added the new sidewalk/bike path Spirit Trail connection.
“While these improvements are now complete, remedial repairs and maintenance to the bridge deck are still required and necessary. For traffic and worker safety reasons and to minimize the duration of repairs, the bridge will be closed to all vehicle traffic in both directions from May through August 2022. Drivers will need to plan alternate routes during this period of closure,” a notice from Park Royal stated.
Specifically, the work is to address delamination, failed expansion joints and provide structural integrity and surface continuity on the driving surface, according to the company.
The work is expected to start on Friday, May 6, and last until Aug. 31.
During that time, the Spirit Trail connection will remain open, but westbound drivers who use the bridge are being advised to divert from First Street at Pemberton Avenue and then take Marine Drive west.
“Park Royal is working closely with the Squamish Nation, District of West Vancouver and the [Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure] on a traffic management plan to mitigate potential congestion. Details about traffic management and construction updates will be regularly provided on the Park Royal and other jurisdictional websites,” the notice stated.
While the work is done, the river banks will still be accessible for fishing by Squamish Nation members.
Park Royal built the bridge 46 years ago. The cost of the repairs is borne by the company.