October 23, 2017

Independent Report Confirms Diefenbaker Bridge is Sound

An independent, expert analysis confirms the Diefenbaker Bridge can safely handle the traffic that uses it and will last well into the future with proper maintenance.

“I am pleased that the results of the expert inspection demonstrates all traffic will be able to use this vital corridor to and from the north,” Highways and Infrastructure Minister David Marit said.  “In collaboration with the City of Prince Albert, we have developed a strategy to perform the short, medium, and long-term maintenance of the bridge, ensuring its long-term viability.”

The Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure commissioned ISL Engineering and Land Services (ISL) in November 2016 to perform an independent inspection of Diefenbaker Bridge.  The inspection was undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of the emergency repairs done in 2011 and in response to the city’s concerns about the condition of the bridge.

The inspection included:

  • An inspection of all the bridge’s components using an inspection method considered to be the gold standard in Canada;
  • Magnetic particle testing of the repair work done in 2011;
  • Evaluation of the impacts of the vehicle loads put on the bridge; and
  • Evaluation of the impact of overweight vehicles on the lifespan of the bridge.

“We know that the Diefenbaker Bridge accommodates up to 24,000 vehicle trips each day with the majority coming from regional traffic,” Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne said.  “A proper repair schedule is essential if we are going to ensure the longevity of this vital piece of infrastructure.  The city is happy to continue to work with the province to ensure the long-term viability of the bridge.”

Like many bridge inspections, some normal deterioration was found and the report made recommendations for repairs in the short, medium and long term in order to get the full service life out of the bridge.

The Diefenbaker Bridge opened to the public in 1960.