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October 18, 2018

Contractor defends design for axed bridge project in Cape Breton

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A company that specializes in wooden bridge reconstruction is defending its design for a project in rural Cape Breton.

Timber Restoration Services Canada, based in Moncton, N.B., was hired by the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to design a solution to the deteriorating Captains Brook bridge, near Judique, N.S.

Jim Richard, the company’s national manager, said there was nothing wrong with the design.

“The design was signed off by many engineers both inside and outside of government, so the design was not the problem,” he said. “It was the execution of the design that failed.”

Work on the old wooden bridge was halted shortly after it began in April.

Zutphen Contractors of Mabou had the bridge partially demolished when that company and the province mutually agreed to terminate their contract.

Since April, it has been operating as a one-lane bridge with traffic lights at each end. All cars travelling south on Route 19 must wait for cars travelling north to pass, and vice-versa.

Martha Campbell, owner of Zutphen Contractors, declined to be interviewed citing a non-disclosure agreement.

Richard blamed the failed project on the Nova Scotia government’s tendering process.

“They should have proof that the contractors that are bidding on their contracts should have experience and prove that they have experience by showing previous projects that they have done,” he said.

He said the government puts too much emphasis on low bids.

Keep reading on CBC News


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