By Camille Aubin
[email protected]

 Tired of waiting in line to cross the Athalmer Bridge? Well, your going to have to wait a little longer, with work expected to be ongoing until the Victoria Day long weekend in late May.

“The Athalmer bridge deck resurfacing was part of a larger contract that included resurfacing of three other area bridges, for a total contract value of $2.5 million,” wrote a spokesperson with B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) in an email to the Pioneer, adding that though Stronger B.C. – the provincial government’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan — additional funding of more than $622,000 has been secured to include a sidewalk safety upgrade as part of the project, a move the ministry hopes will facilitate better active transportation within the community. Costs for the Athalmer bridge portion of the contract total $1.2 million.

The south side walking path (the right side, if you are going up the hill) and the south side of the road were completed during Phase 1 of the bridge construction work at the end of last summer. “The first phase of the Athalmer Bride deck resurfacing began September 8, 2020, to coincide with lower traffic volumes during the fall shoulder season,” explained the spokesperson.

The second phase of the renovations covers the north side of the road (the bridge’s left side if you are going up the hill).

Single-lane alternating traffic has been in place since the beginning of the construction and will be there until the end of the project, which is estimated to be completed by the long weekend.

“Rehabilitation projects such as deck resurfacing help protect and maximize the lifespan of our infrastructure. This helps improve safety and makes it a smoother driving surface for people.” wrote the MOTI spokesperson.

Invermere mayor Al Miller asked local residents to remains calm and polite during the waiting time, saying “we have to be all patient at this time, and it will be there shortly…I know they’ve done the pour of concrete. So now they just have to do the final coating.”

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