It has been a week and a half now that there was a fire under the bridge that joins the north and south of my city Chicoutimi over the Saguenay River. It’s a good thing that people can still walk on the old bridge.
On December 9 at around 11h00 pm, a fire started under the bridge in a Construction site. They have been making necessary maintenance reparations and the workers were pouring cement under the bridge and to dry it quicker, they turned on the propane furnace and I guess something was too close to the fire, because from 11pm to about three in the morning flames surged from under the bridge. Since then engineers have been analyzing the situation. So since the 9 of December we on the north side which include over 25,000 people have to either cross the old bridge by foot or take a 42 kilometer detour.
The army came and installed tents every so many meters to help fight the cold and winds. I can’t say what it is like to cross the bridge by foot because I am one of many people that take the detour. My son however, crosses at least 4 times a week which each way is a little over 1/2 a mile each way. Great exercise. If he crosses at “rush” hour he is one in hundreds crossing.
They just announced this morning that the Dubuc bridge would open tomorrow morning (over 10 days later) for light traffic- no heavy vehicles including buses. Instead of being two lanes each way it will only be 1 lane each way.
So for the last 10 days a ride that usually takes me 20 minutes takes 1 hour. Just goes to show you how spoiled we are these days. I am used to jumping in my car and going into town for a small errand. Now we have to plan ahead and not go before at least 10h00 am AND we have to be ready to return before 3h00 pm. or it won’t take us 1 hour, it will take us two as we would be in rush hour. I know it still isn’t as bad as the big cities like Montreal or Toronto or New York but when you are used to one way of life….. Like I said we are spoiled!
This should be back to normal by the end of January. This situation has hurt the economy. Even a little entrepreneur like myself. I had a class last Saturday and had to cancel because the girls coming live on the south side of Chicoutimi and did not want to cross the bridge with for scrapbooking and found it would be too long and expensive in gas to go out of their way 42 kilometers.
Though we have been inconvenienced, I am aware that there are people way worse off than we. Lake Magentic lost over 40 people in the train wreck. There have been no lives lost in our city.
With that I do wish you all a very Merry Christmas, health and happiness to all.