A section of unused watermain that crosses the Campbell River on the underside of the provincial highway’s Willow Street bridge has broken and is hanging into the Campbell River.
Boaters are advised to use caution until the hazard can be removed.
The City of Campbell River was advised on Monday, April 15 by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) that a section of broken pipe is hanging from the middle of the bridge span into the water.
The City is working with MoTI to determine a plan to remove the pipe as soon as possible. Until that time, markers will be placed near the pipe to make it more visible, and boaters are advised to keep clear of the hazard.
“To keep boaters safe, the City has directly notified representatives of groups who regularly boat on the river,” says Jennifer Peters, the City’s utilities manager. “We encourage people to help us spread the word to fellow boaters.”
Peters confirms that City staff met on site with representatives from MoTI and their contractor, Emcon, and confirmed that the pipe is an unused watermain that was abandoned in the late 1990s. The old watermain, installed in 1952 by the North Campbell River Water District, and remained in place following the construction of a new watermain across the same bridge in 1999.
“It appears that one of the pipe anchors holding the pipe in place had broken, and the pipe is no longer fully supported,” Peters adds.
Staff from the Navigable Waters section of Transport Canada will review plans for removal of the pipe.
The city is also working with MoTI to confirm that all other supports on the underside of this provincial bridge are in good condition.