While engineers from the City of New Westminster try to determine the next steps to getting the Braid Street bridge open to vehicle traffic, the issue will also be discussed among civic politicians in Coquitlam.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart said the topic of finding a permanent structure to replace the bridge will be discussed at the upcoming city council meeting Monday.
"We need to find that long-term solution and find a short-term fix for the current situation," he told The NOW.
"It is quite inadequate to have a temporary one-lane bridge for 18 years."
The single-lane Bailey bridge that connects United Boulevard in Coquitlam to Braid Street in New Westminster was shut down Sunday.
Stewart was also expected to discuss the issue with New Westminster Mayor Wayne Wright.
The Coquitlam mayor maintained his call for a permanent replacement of the bridge, noting he's received calls from frustrated businesses on both sides of the boundaries hoping for the same.
Stewart also suggested the current bridge could also be twinned fairly quickly and reopened.
"If we're not going to get a permanent structure, we have to get another temporary structure to carry the loads that were originally intended for it," Stewart said.
Currently, the bridge sits inside New Westminster's boundaries and is maintained by that city, but both municipalities split the cost in half. The Bailey bridge was first put in place in 1995.
Stewart also said it's important that politicians in New Westminster understand the bridge is funded by both cities.
Earlier this week, New Westminster Coun. Betty McIntosh suggested in an interview with The Record newspaper that Coquitlam does nothing to finance the bridge.
In the meantime, it appears the crossing could be closed to vehicles for a couple more weeks.
Jim Lowrie, the City of New Westminster's director of engineering, told The Record the consulting engineer hired to inspect the bridge discovered a couple of "fairly significant splits" on two of the truss members.
"The timbers themselves have split due to excessive wear and tear," he said.
"We are looking at some options." Lowrie said the assessment was scheduled, and was conducted on a Saturday when the traffic volumes were lower.
"The last structural inspection we did was in 2007. It has been five years," he said. "We need to know what the weight load rating of the bridge should be."
Lowrie told The Record Tuesday it would be "at least" a couple of weeks before the bridge reopens to vehicles. He said the city is looking at options for repairing the structure.
"We are certainly expecting it is repairable," he said.