An employee of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure examines a portion of the Dewdney Bridge that has begun to sag.

UPDATED: Damaged Dewdney bridge closed to traffic

Structure showing signs of sagging, traffic is being detoured as crew assess damage, no vehicle or foot traffic being permitted.

The Dewdney Slough Bridge was closed this morning after the bridge deck began to sag.

As of noon today (Thursday, September 17) the bridge is still shut down  and traffic is being detoured away. There is no timeline on when the damage will be repaired.

“It’s just dropped down,” said Gina McMann, who works at the Dewdney Pub.

“It’s not like broken and hanging or anything. The railing is cracked and the deck of the bridge is dropped down by, I don’t know, about six inches.”

She said the bridge was fine when she arrived for work at 9 a.m. but half an hour later, everybody was telling her about the “collapse.”

A truck driver reported the damage after he noticed a dip in the bridge. On his return trip across the structure, the sag was worse.

A Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure spokesperson said crews are continuing to assess the bridge and no traffic will be permitted to cross.

Ministry staff and contractors have set up a detour to Highway 1.

“We know this is a long detour and will inconvenience people.  Crews are working as fast as they safely can to assess the scene and do any repair work that might be necessary,” the spokesperson wrote in an email to the Record.

“We’ll continue to provide updates through DriveBC on our progress and alternative routes.”

The Dewdney Bridge is on Highway 7, just outside of Mission.

Students at the nearby Dewdney Elementry School will be allowed to cross the bridge, by foot and under superviion, and be picked up on the other side.

Students who take the bus home, will have to travel through Abbotsford and Chilliwack to get home.

A structural issue has closed down Dewdney Bridge.

A video posted by abbynews (@abbynews) on Sep 17, 2015 at 12:05pm PDT