The Taylor Bridge was built in 1960 and is 721 metres long, spanning the Peace River on Highway 97 between Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, near the community of Taylor. Current traffic volume on Highway 97 between Dawson Creek and Fort St. John is approximately 7,500 vehicles per day, 30 per cent of which is commercial vehicle traffic.
This bridge is now in disrepair. Past inspection reports have outlined some of the bridge’s major problems: "Steel grid deck and catwalk deterioration. Localized corrosion issues. High/increasing maintenance costs and traffic delays for deck repairs. Major route. Long detours."
On the inspection report, the Taylor Bridge was given an "urgency" rating of four out of five. While the highest score would indicate that a bridge is a danger to life and limb, four alerts to the dire economic issues that would arise should the span be closed.
In May 2019, officials with the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced that they were in the preliminary stages of examining three options for fixing or replacing the Taylor Bridge, including:
• Replacing the existing two-lane bridge with another two-lane bridge at an estimated cost of approximately $250 million;
• Replacing it with a four-lane bridge which would cost at least an additional $100 million;
• or resurfacing the steel deck at approximately $80-$100 million.
The Taylor Bridge has fallen into complete disrepair and requires immediate fixing.
As part of the Alaska Highway and British Columbia’s major highway, route 97, this bridge needs to be replaced with a four-lane bridge.
Since 1960, the Taylor Bridge has been vital in connecting the North Peace and South Peace for residents, businesses, and tourists travelling in the region. Every hour, millions of dollars of merchandise, food, fuel and equipment travel to north eastern British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories and the State of Alaska. This is an integral artery and vital to the local and regional economy.
Currently, the Taylor Bridge is listed as an unbudgeted item and not included in the provincial government’s 10-year capital improvement plan. We want it approved and funded, as soon as possible.