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Fourth Avenue bridge to be closed Monday for catcher beam installation

Shutdown expected to last week-and-a-half as measure to support bridge infrastructure is installed
Catcher beam render
An artist rendering of the catcher beam that will be placed on the Fourth Avenue bridge in the coming days.
The City of Moose Jaw will be closing the Fourth Avenue Bridge this coming Monday for scheduled repairs and maintenance designed to extend the life of the structure.

The bridge -- also known as the Thunderbird Viaduct -- will shut down to vehicular traffic on Jan. 17, while pedestrian walkways will remain open.

The closure will take place for the installation of a catcher beam system, designed as a back-up should the existing infrastructure fail. In such a case, the beam would not keep the bridge usable by traffic but would help prevent extreme damage to the span.

The construction will offer additional support to a half-joint that connects the sections built in 1965 and 1989. The joint was identified as a major issue during a preliminary design report by Associated Engineering, the firm overseeing the $16 million refurbishment of the bridge.

Initial reports in September pegged the cost of the catcher beam construction at $230,000.

Construction crews will also perform deck exploration work to determine the condition of reinforcing steel supporting the structure.

The closure is expected to last until Friday, Jan. 28, weather permitting.

All area businesses remain open, and drivers are asked to use 9th Avenue NW or 1st Avenue N.E. to access South Hill.