Centre Wellington moves forward with four pricey projects

CENTRE WELLINGTON — The township is going ahead with four construction projects with an overall cost of $13,117,827.

The four projects include the renovation of the Elora Community Centre, the redoing of a street and two bridge replacements.

The task of renovating the Elora Community Centre was awarded to Gateman-Milloy Inc. for $4,166,000.

The reconstruction of the street, East Mill Street in Elora, has been awarded to J.G. Goetz Construction Limited for $2,393,988.98.

The replacement of the one bridge, bridge 16-WG, Fifth Line of the former township of West Garafraxa, was awarded to UrbanLink Civil Ltd. for $2,609,350.

The replacement of the other bridge, structure 24-WG, First Line of the former township of West-Garafraxa, has been awarded to Finnbilt General Contracting Limited for $3,948,488.

As the bridge known as structure 24-WG will require an expensive $4 million to rebuild, some residents inquired why this rebuild is necessary.

“Again based on some communication from some of our citizens, somebody was suggesting or a few people suggested that this bridge does not need to be rebuilt. And that not many people are using it,” said Coun. Barbara Lustgarten-Evoy.

So Lustgarten-Evoy asked why the township is going ahead with this rebuild.

“Can you please qualify for us all why we are choosing to move forward with this?” Lustgarten-Evoy said.

The township has a system that they applied to this bridge to determine if it needs rebuilding. In particular, they consider whether the bridge is likely to fail and how serious the consequences of failure would be.

“So as Dan pointed out this morning, we have a way of scoring these bridges in terms of assessing or providing them with a risk score. That’s based on a number of factors, probability of failure, consequence of failure,” said Adam Gilmore, manager of engineering at Centre Wellington.

Dan Wilson, the CAO for Centre Wellington, gave a presentation earlier in the meeting where he explained how the township decides if assets and structures need repair.

This bridge was closed in 2018 and is having serious consequences by slowing down emergency services' response times.

“And in this case, this bridge has quite an impact on emergency response times in this area. So that’s one of the factors that gives a high consequence of failure,” Gilmore said.

Although the rebuild of structure 24-WG is expensive, it is necessary for traffic.

“And so it is quite important to the road network and traffic and in particular in emergency response times. And that’s one of the things that comes to mind that really makes it a high priority bridge,” Gilmore said.

Council and staff are also taking steps to reconstruct Beatty Line, in Fergus.

The new Beatty Line will accommodate greater traffic as north-west Fergus grows. Essentially it is a road made for rural use to be changed for urban use. It will involve a roundabout and other traffic calming measures as well as a path off the road for walking and cycling.

At this time a contractor has not been chosen.

Jesse Gault is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.

Jesse Gault, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com