County schedules public meeting on Durham Street bridge for May 1

BROCKTON – Bruce County’s director of transportation and environmental services, Adam Stanley, presented an update on the Durham Street bridge project to Brockton council on April 9.

The information was similar to what was provided to Bruce County council the previous week, with greater stress on presenting the repair project as the preferred alternative for the environmental assessment that is still underway.

The county has approved the allocation of $3 million for emergency repairs, and has sole-sourced Pullman from Oakville for this part of the project.

Stanley said the emergency repairs should take an estimated 26 weeks, beginning in early May, with completion in late November or early December. The company doing the repairs will keep one lane open to traffic at all times. The load restrictions and alternate truck routes will remain in effect until the emergency repairs are completed.

Assuming rehabilitation is presented as the preferred alternative, it would cost another $2 million, and would take an additional seven months.

Other alternatives involving replacement of the bridge, would mean up to three years’ work and would cost upwards of $20 million. There could also be a detour in place for the duration of construction.

Stanley said the county is working with BM Ross, and plans to present repair and rehabilitation as the preferred alternative at the pre-construction and EA meeting scheduled for May 1. Stanley said a very large public turnout is expected. The location for the meeting is the Knights of Columbus Hall, between Mildmay and Walkerton. There is an open house at 7 p.m., with a formal presentation at 7:30 p.m.

Public input will be accepted following the May 1 meeting, until May 19.

“This is good news,” said Coun. Kym Hutcheon. She noted that the repairs will buy the current bridge another 20 years. “Are we planning on what to do then?”

Stanley responded by saying the project has two parts – immediate repairs, and rehabilitation. Together, assuming regular maintenance is done, “we can expect to get another 40 years,” he said, adding that provides the time to look at such things as alternate routes and bypasses.

“It’s a good news story and it buys us time to look at those things,” he said. “It gives us time to plan.”

Hutcheon added, “especially if all that development happens north of the river.”

Mayor Chris Peabody thanked Stanley and his team for their work.

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times