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Hydro possibilities

Bridge study being released soon

Dave Sullivan
Northern News Services

Fort Providence (Nov 12/01) - If a bridge ever replaces the Fort Providence ferry, it can be built to help generate hydro power.

"If they're going to put pilings in the river for a bridge, you can design them to attach one of those run-of-river systems, says Douglas Bryshun.

NNSL Photo

Douglas Bryshun, CEO of Deh Gah Got'ie Betterment Corporation. - Dave Sullivan/NNSL photo

The CEO of band-owned Deh Gah Got'ie Betterment Corporation has been researching the feasibility of building a bridge. He's trying to convince government that one would be cheaper in the long haul compared to continuing the ferry.

"The problem is, building a bridge is a huge capital outlay all at once, and government's can't see around that," he says.

He's going to try another approach. Bryshun wants to structure a bridge deal modelled after the Confederation Bridge, which connects mainland Atlantic Canada at New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island.

That massive project was privately financed and built, with the government leasing to own.

Bryshun plans on releasing a new study soon after a community meeting, and hopes to gain momentum by timing it with the Fort Providence ferry's annual closure.

"We're very encouraged," Bryshun says of the feasibility study's contents.

A span at Fort Providence would be high enough to prevent interference with barge traffic, he said.