The Government of Nova Scotia announced that work is underway on a multi-year rehabilitation plan that will extend the life of the Seal Island Bridge in Cape Breton by as many as 15 years.

The plan will follow the recommendations of a recently completed benefit-cost analysis that started in 2021.

“We understand how important this infrastructure is for the people of Cape Breton and those travelling to and from the island,” said Public Works Minister Kim Masland. “Safety will always be our number 1 concern with provincial infrastructure, and this work will help keep the bridge safe for many years to come.”

A tender for the first of several projects under the plan was issued in November. Other projects will be tendered in 2024 and 2025. Rehabilitation work is expected to be completed by 2027, with inspections and routine maintenance ongoing.

The analysis also reviewed several options for replacing the bridge. That information will be reviewed by the government as it considers next steps. A new bridge will take about 10 years for consultation, planning, design and construction.

“We understand how important the Seal Island Bridge is to the local community, and we are committed to collaborating with Public Works to maintain the existing structure while providing the framework to determine a long-term plan for the crossing.” said Aaron Ferguson, project manager, COWI—the engineering and consulting company working on the bridge)

The Seal Island Bridge opened in 1961 in what is now Victoria County. It is officially known as the Great Bras d’Or Crossing. The cost of the rehabilitation plan is expected to be in the tens of millions of dollars

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Featured image: (Government of Nova Scotia)

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