Revitalizing a 60 year old bridge

Innovative engineering solutions.

Courtenay’s 5th Street Bridge is an important connector in the Comox Valley. Originally constructed in 1960, the 72-metre steel truss bridge has two vehicle lanes and 1.5 metre sidewalks on both sides of the bridge. Despite regular maintenance, the bridge’s lead-based coating was at the end of its service life, and the bridge deck and overlay needed repair to extend the bridge’s service life by 50 years.

The project began with a multi-consultant feasibility study which considered replacement with a concrete bridge and various rehabilitation options of the existing structure. A major factor in the study was that the bridge sees volumes of traffic of up to 20,000 vehicles, 160 buses, 650 pedestrians and 500 cyclists per day. In consultation with the City of Courtenay, it was apparent that a full closure of the bridge was not feasible due to the social, economic, and emergency vehicle impacts. Therefore, a rehabilitation option was chosen.

The project scope involved traffic management, environmental management, lead coating abatement, structural steel repairs, concrete deck repair, installation of a high- performance concrete overlay with an integral impressed current cathodic protection system (ICCP); all while maintaining single lane alternating traffic. This scope required a multidiscipline consulting team of Thurber, Urban Systems, and Hatch using innovative engineering solutions.