More than 100 soldiers from the Canadian Armed Forces will influx Masset on Sept. 23 to complete learning exercises which will result in a new permanent bridge and boardwalk.
The Primary Reserve Army unit comprises military personnel from across the country and will be completing construction adjacent to the Canadian Forces station until Sept. 28, to improve access, Lt.-Col. Jim Julien, commanding officer told the The Northern View.
The primary objective for the 39 Combat Engineer Regiment is to replace an existing timber bridge with an ACROW bridge on-site over a 15 metre stretch of water. An ACROW bridge is an efficient and cost-effective bridge that can be quickly assembled on-site for temporary or permanent use. The previous timber structure had a dirt surface, was in “dire shape” and impeded military access to their equipment sites, Julien said.
Residents can expect minimal impact from the exercises, Julien said, with possibly some noise from impact drivers, chainsaws, and heavy vehicle operations near the bridge site on Towhill Road.
“The nice thing is, because we’re located right adjacent to the detachment site and our work site is literally across the road, the traffic impact is going to be very minimal,” Julien said.
The army has also dispatched its own military cooks with independent food supplies to avoid placing strain on the local food supply due to the large contingent.
The commanding officer said the site will be accessible to the public because they want to be as transparent as possible and engage with the community.
“If people do come by, we welcome them. We’ll explain to them what we’re doing and show them what’s going on,” Julien said.
The unit is “extremely cognizant” of the pandemic and is diligently following federal, provincial, and military COVID-19 guidelines, Julien said.
“We are physically separated from the community on mass. So, we’re minimizing and being very selective about our community engagement,” he said.
Norman Galimski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View