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No date in sight for Nappan bridge reopening

The Rainbow Bridge outside Amherst on Highway 2 was closed Dec. 8 to all traffic.
The Rainbow Bridge outside Amherst on Highway 2 was closed Dec. 8 to all traffic. - Christopher Gooding

Motorists encouraged to use Southampton Road detour via 302

NAPPAN, N.S. – A bridge on a well-traveled section of Highway 2 here remains closed, with no fixed date in sight for when it will be repaired or replaced.

The Cum 011 Nappan Marsh Bridge – also known as the Rainbow Bridge – has been closed to traffic since Dec. 8, 2017, when two bottom chord members of its truss span failed, causing visible sagging.

“Options that are being evaluated range from repairs to the existing bridge to a full permanent replacement,” said department of transportation and infrastructure renewal spokesperson Marla MacInnis.

“Once the consultant’s report is complete, the department of transportation and infrastructure renewal will review and determine the best approach moving forward,” she continued. “The timeline will be dependent on which option is chosen.”

Located near Amherst, the bridge normally sees commuter traffic from communities such as Fenwick, and from Route 302 travelers from as far away as Maccan, River Hebert, Joggins and Parrsboro.

Although detour signs near the bridge direct traffic onto the Nappan and Lower Porter Road, MacInnis said the preferred option is for motorists to use the other marked detour via Route 302 onto Southampton Road and Smith Road.

“It is intended for all traffic to take this route,” she said. “The smaller bridge is a single-lane bridge with narrow, tight approaches. It is not ideal for increased traffic volumes, so we encourage motorists to use the directed detour.”

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