Highway 1 - Cowichan River (Silver) Bridge Painting Project

The southbound silver bridge on Highway 1, over the Cowichan River in Duncan, is having its old paint removed and new silver paint applied.

Cowichan River (Silver) Bridge, Duncan BC, Painting Project

The side-by-side southbound and northbound bridges recently had seismic upgrades.

Paint on the southbound bridge has deteriorated beyond the means of regular maintenance. Corrosion is beginning to affect the structural steelwork and, over time, may affect its strength. Applying new paint will add many years of useful service to the structure as well as improve the appearance of the bridge.

The project will follow strict environmental guidelines to protect the surrounding area. The bridge will be "shrink wrapped" to contain debris that will be removed daily. The containment system and river environment will be carefully and systematically monitored.

Project cost:
$4.5 million


Site preparation.

Project Benefits

The project will:

  • Remove deteriorated paint and corrosion from the bridge to prevent their release into the environment
  • Extend the life of the bridge
  • Improve aesthetics for users and communities


Painting during the winter season would place a heavy load on the containment system. It is better to do the painting during milder weather.

  • Construction will begin in July and is expected to be completed by the end of 2018
  • This project follows the seismic retrofit of both bridges

Travel Advisories

Two lanes will be available along the southbound bridge daily, during higher-traffic periods. 

The southbound bridge may be closed from 8 pm to 6 am when traffic is at its lowest. During this schedule, one southbound lane will be available either on the southbound bridge, or by a detour on the adjacent northbound bridge.

The sidewalk on the southbound bridge will be closed for most of the project, but the sidewalk on the northbound bridge will be available. Pedestrians can cross at the Trunk Road intersection to use the northbound bridge sidewalk. The pedestrian trail on the north bank of the river is now closed until further notice, to accommodate scaffolding installation beneath the bridge deck.

A work plan will be posted on this site.

  • Southbound bridge vehicle traffic lanes will be open in a narrower configuration to allow room for scaffolding, the containment system, and safe worker access
  • There will be a construction speed zone of 30 km/h
  • Limited, short-duration traffic lane closures may be implemented and will be scheduled during low traffic volume periods
  • Pedestrians may continue to use the sidewalk on the southbound bridge until Sunday August 19, when the first phase of scaffolding installation under the bridge is complete. Then the sidewalk will be closed until the work is substantially completed
  • The sidewalk and both traffic lanes on the northbound bridge will continue to be available for the duration of project