Minden bridge headed for costly fix
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | September 13, 2018|
The engineers hired to check out Minden’s main street bridge are recommending council spend $700,000 to $800,000 to fix up the aging structure. Roads superintendent Travis Wilson tabled a report on the Sunnybrook Bridge to council’s Aug. 30 meeting for information only.
Last December, council awarded an RFP for consulting and engineering services to Tulloch Engineering. The work included a feasibility study comparing costs of various types of rehabilitation. Wilson said they came back with five options. Option one is a full replacement and road reconstruction, costing $4.5 to $5 million.
Option two is a full rehabilitation with major modifications, at $8-10 million. Option three is Tulloch’s preferred option of partial rehabilitation, including Ontario Structure Inspection Manual (OSIM), at $700,000 - $800,000 and option four, OSIM recommendations, at $300,000 - $400,000. Option five is to do nothing. “Tulloch Engineering recommends option three, which includes OSIM-recommended improvements, barrierfree sidewalks, replacement of failing retaining walls, replacement of handrails, improvements to lighting, and replacement of asphalt wearing surface/waterproofing,” Wilson said in his report.
He added the option will marginally improve the sightlines at Invergordon and Water Street as the sidewalk will be cantilevered off of the structure. He said the proposed work will give the township bridge another 30 years. He said if council does nothing, the engineers predict the township will need a load rating within 10 years and will have to do an extensive rehabilitation or replacement within 15.
Wilson said in staff’s opinion, while improvements to sightlines and sidewalks may be preferred as outlined in option three, the cost is double that of option four (OSIM improvements), with the same expected life of 30 years.
The engineering and design work have been included in the 2018 budget. With council now in a lame duck position, Wilson said staff have directed Tulloch to continue the design phase based on Option 3, with the ability to tender the work in 2019 as another option if the new council opts for that. Coun. Pam Sayne said that long-term, the township has to plan for a second bridge over the Gull River.
During the 2017 flood, the bridge had to be closed for safety reasons and people were forced to bypass around the Gull River. It essentially disconnected the two parts of town.
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.