Funding sought for bridge rehabilitation

 

By Karen Fallon

Council directed administration to submit an Expression of Interest to OMAFRA for repairs to the 5th Concession North Bridge over the Canard River.

Acting CAO Kristina Di Paolo, in a report to council, notes the Municipal Infrastructure Investment Initiative Capital Program, with $90 Million in funding, is designed to help address critical road, bridge, water and wastewater projects.

Councillor John Sutton inquired why this particular undertaking was chosen.

“Just curious as to what other projects would have met the criteria of the outline of that particular grant program,” said Sutton.

Lou Zarlenga, director of engineering and infrastructure says he worked with Di Paolo to determine which project was the most likely to meet all of the criteria set out funding.

“This particular bridge was very well suited for all the criteria,” said Zarlenga. “It is a very visible bridge; it is a very important bridge and what we are finding is that the deterioration of the bridge because of the road salt is accelerating.”

Town Logo Small-web“If we don’t act very quickly…we are going to be in a position where we are not going to rehabilitate it but have to construct it at probably three times the cost,” he continued.

The existing bridge is constructed of reinforced concrete with an asphalt road surface. The bridge is noted as being over 50 years old.

The estimated cost of repair of the bridge is pegged at $1,250,000.

Rehabilitation of the bridge is being recommended opposed to removal of the deck, which could cost in the area of $3,000,000. As navigable water regulations may require a complete new bridge.

The share of provincial funding that may be applied for is flexible up to a maximum of 90 per cent of total project costs with a cap of $2-million.

Administration is recommending requesting 80 per cent of the funding from the Province.

If the application is approved the town’s share would be $ 250,000 with the Province contributing $1-million through the MIII program.

Should the submission be successful a detailed financial analysis will be provided for Council approval, notes Di Paolo.

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