Todd Hewitt

Councillor wants update on Concession 2 bridge



By Ron Giofu


The bowstring arch bridge on Concession 2 North was scheduled to be torn down and replaced this year, but now there are delays.

Councillor Rick Fryer questioned the status of the project, which had initially been approved by town council about a year ago.

“Is it going to be done this year?” Fryer asked, with the response from administration being that the contractor has been having issues obtaining permits from the necessary government ministries and that the project may be delayed until next year.

Fryer suggested the speed limit be reduced in the area.

“There’s a lot of concern abut how the bridge is going to hold up during the winter,” Fryer added.

Town council has elected to tear down and replace the Concession 2 North bridge with a new bridge of modern design.

Should the project be delayed until 2019, engineers will take another look at the aging structure and take appropriate action, administration added.

In Oct. 2017, town council decided to replace the bridge at a cost of approximately $1.2 million with replacement being the recommended option from town administration. According to a report at that time from manager of engineering and operations Todd Hewitt, the new bridge will have a standard design and a 75-year design life.

Town council had two other options – replacement of the bridge with one of a similar design or repairing the current bridge – but opted for replacing it with a standard design. Repairing the current bridge would have cost $927,000 but Hewitt said drawbacks of that option would be a 25-30 year probable service life and the fact bridge weight restrictions and width would remain restricted.

To build a new bridge that would look similar to the current bridge, it had a cost estimate of $1.8 million as it is “an extremely complex design to build” and would carry increased lifecycle and maintenance costs.

The bridge is believed to be roughly 80-years-old.

Creek Road to close for reconstruction starting Sept. 26


Creek Road will be closed to through traffic between County Road 20 and Meloche Road, commencing September 26, to facilitate road reconstruction. This closure is expected to last several months.

Local traffic will be maintained and residents will be allowed access to their residences but delays should be expected.

Work on the Creek Road Reconstruction will be ongoing through December 2018.

The Town of Amherstburg reminds residents that during construction, traffic disruptions may occur and some delays may be experienced. Please slow down and obey all traffic signage, and watch for flag persons in the construction zone.

The town thanks the public for their patience while they work to complete this capital improvement project.

Creek Road tender approved, reconstruction to start in the fall



By Ron Giofu


Creek Road will be getting some long overdue reconstruction, but that reconstruction will not include bike lanes.

Town council approved a tender from Jeff Shepley Excavating Ltd. in the amount of $1,512,223.50 plus HST to rebuild the roadway. The motion to approve the tender was passed Monday night, but Councillor Rick Fryer questioned why the tender took so long to come before council considering the project was approved during budget sessions in late 2017.

“We approved Creek Road a long time ago,” said Fryer. “Why is it taking six to seven months to get the tender approved?”

Fryer questioned whether the town was “missing the boat” in terms of getting favourable pricing by not getting the tenders out sooner. He wondered if getting engineering work done ahead of time would prove to be beneficial to the town.

Manager of engineering Todd Hewitt said that is the direction they are going, noting they are doing pre-engineering work on two more projects.

Councillor Diane Pouget asked about the start time and how long the project would take, with Hewitt stating that construction could be underway in September with a November finish. Fryer asked what impact that would have on school bus routes.

“That’s going to make it difficult,” Hewitt admitted.

Hewitt added work still has to be done with the contractor with regards to road closures and where bus stops could be.

Creek Road will be replaced this fall, with work anticipated to begin in September. This is the view of the road from the intersection at South Side Road looking south.

Fryer had further concerns, as he questioned about whether there would be bike lanes.

“On that road, are we allowing for bike lanes and walking lanes?” he asked.

Fryer noted it is a “primary route for cyclists” but Hewitt responded by stating that while a one-metre paved shoulder was put into the original tender, that tender came back in at $2.287 million. That is roughly $550,000 over budget with Hewitt stating the project was then re-tendered. The low bid on the original tender was put in by a different contractor, he added.

The road would still have a wider road base and a one-meter shoulder, Hewitt said, the latter providing the base for a paved shoulder if council wants to put one in sometime in the future.

Amherstburg moving ahead with major forcemain project



By Ron Giofu


A major infrastructure project is proceeding with that project that has been said to allow for hundreds of homes to be built in the Golfview and Kingsbridge areas.

Town council awarded a tender to J&J Lepera Infrastructures with the work to be done to upgrade pump stations in the area and to construct a forcemain to divert wastewater to the Amherstburg sewage treatment plant.

Total cost of this phase of the project is $8.9 million but a developer is contributing approximately $917,000 for pump station improvements. This is the second of three phases of the Edgewater Diversion Project.

Manager of engineering Todd Hewitt indicated that is the normal course of action as developers are responsible for moving sewage while the town is required to receive the sewage.

“That’s what the project is doing,” said Hewitt.

Hewitt told town council at a special meeting last Wednesday afternoon that he couldn’t estimate a work schedule until after the project was awarded but hoped work crews would be in full swing by mid-August. Installing the forcemain will involve tearing up Front Road North (County Road 20) from roughly the Edgewater area to Alma St. It is expected to reduce the highway from four lanes to two during the construction period.

“It’s a pretty aggressive timeline to get it done,” said Hewitt.

The timeline to complete the forcemain is Nov. 30, he stated, with the pump station due for completion by March 1, 2019. Kingsbridge developer Mike Dunn told town council he will be able to proceed with 700 homes once this phase of the project is completed.

“That’s good news for the town,” responded Councillor Rick Fryer.

Hewitt indicated that there could be “other opportunities for development” for the lands in the Edgewater sewage area other than Kingsbridge.

Councillor Leo Meloche questioned why the project cost was coming in higher than projected. Hewitt stated the town received two tenders for the work.

“It tells you the remainder of the contractors are very busy and unable to tender the work,” said Hewitt.

Comparisons were also done of similar projects in other municipalities, he added, and that costs tended to come in 15-20 per cent higher than original estimates.

As part of his written report to town council, Hewitt stated: “The Town has invested significant dollars to upgrade and expand the Amherstburg Wastewater Treatment Plant and upgrade the Pump Station No. 2. The recommended works in this report are the final steps to allow the Edgewater Lagoons to be decommissioned and to utilize the capacity built into the treatment plant. By not moving forward on this project the Town could risk potential fines and additional costs from the MOECC (Ministry of Environment and Climate Change) for not addressing the issues with respect to the early discharges at the Edgewater lagoons. The Edgewater Lagoons are currently at capacity. Not approving this project will end future residential development in this area until sewage capacity is increased. This project will allow for residential development and growth to move forward in this area, specifically North Kingsbridge, which has been at a standstill for many years due to the lack of capacity in the Edgewater system.”

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said it was big news for the town, stating at least 700 new homes are coming to the town.

“It’s definitely some nice closure on a very big project that has literally held back the town and development,” said DiCarlo. “I think the big news is really the homes.”

DiCarlo stated that while there have been some new builds in the area, developers have had restrictions on what can be constructed. He is hopeful the forcemain will be operational by the end of the year.

“We’re definitely going to get on it ASAP,” said the mayor.

The Edgewater lagoons should be decommissioned next year with the estimated cost of that phase being just over $1 million.

“We have made major investments in water infrastructure,” said DiCarlo.

The overall cost of the project, including all three phases, is approximately $14 million. Grant funding received in 2015 provided $5.8 million with $1.8 million being used on the current phase that will be done this year.

Town orders another $146,000 in LED light fixtures



By Ron Giofu


Due to a shortfall in LED lights, the Town of Amherstburg has ordered 210 more in order to complete the project.

Town council authorized the purchase and installation of 210 more fixtures to complete the LED light conversion project “in an amount not to exceed $145,800 plus HST.” The town states the total contract value is not to exceed $1,332,556 plus HST.

The town accepted a proposal for the completion of the 2018 LED streetlight conversion program, reported manager of engineering Todd Hewitt in his report to council. The contract was awarded to Anchor Hydro Feb. 28 and the project began in April.

“Anchor Hydro has completed a field verification of the light fixtures required to complete the conversion of the Town’s streetlights to LED fixtures. Through that process it has been determined that the Town requires a further 210 cobrahead streetlights to complete the conversion, over and above the estimated 1,443 identified in for the project for a total of 1,653 fixtures.”

The Town of Amherstburg has authorized the purchase and installation of 210 more LED light fixtures at an amount not to exceed $145,800 plus HST. Pictured are the lights that are on Murray St. Many of the new LED lights have been installed but the new lights will bring the total up to 1,653 total fixtures.

Hewitt added: “Administration has reviewed the data used for the project scoping and procurement process, and have determined that the majority of the variance relates to streetlights being incorrectly listed in the Town’s Tangible Capital Asset (TCA) inventory as ‘County owned.’ It is believed the data error may have arisen because the majority of those streetlights were located along County roads. As only Town owned assets were identified for replacement, the lights marked as County owned were excluded from the TCA inventory list provided for the RFP; however it has since been determined that that the Town owns the fixtures. The balance of the discrepancy appears to have resulted from incorrect TCA inventory data captured when the asset inventory was initialized in 2008. Administration will continue to review and refine the Town’s TCA inventory and Asset Management Plan to capture complete and accurate data.”

CAO John Miceli states they are continuing to update its asset management plan and acknowledged “there are some gaps” and the town is trying to correct things in the future.

Miceli added that residents are happy with the new LED lights.

“We made the decision to add the lights and extend the scope of the contract,” Miceli said of the new 210 fixtures. Though they were ordered after the initial number of lights, installation isn’t expected to be delayed.