Public gets the chance to look at option for Paisley bridge and detour

·3 min read

PAISLEY – Members of the public had the opportunity to view the proposed design for the new bridge over the Teeswater River, and get a look at the preferred option for a detour during construction.

It’s important to the entire community, considering the volume of traffic that passes through Paisley on a daily basis, and the fact Brockton is looking at a similar project to replace the bridge on the main road through town.

An online meeting on May 18 provided people with the chance to see how ideas presented during and after a previous meeting had been incorporated into the design, and to ask questions.

The presentation by the B.M. Ross design team included an outline of special concerns, timelines and alternatives, along with slides of possible designs.

The bridge that spans the Teeswater River along Bruce Road 3 in Paisley was constructed in 1935, at a time when the expected lifespan of a bridge was about 50 years. The bridge shows “significant deterioration.”

Bruce County has been looking at various alternatives for replacing the bridge. The project was initiated in October of 2019; this is the second public meeting that’s been held.

One complicating factor is it’s in downtown Paisley, and is attached at one end to buildings. Also complicating replacement is the fact the present bridge is tied into flood control infrastructure.

Included in what the public wants to see in the new bridge is something that reflects the artistic nature of the community, and perhaps a viewing platform.

Public commentary was also involved in choosing a preferred option for the detour route. Various possibilities were looked at, including a long route outside town on paved roads, a shorter out-of-town route that would likely require paving roads, and an in-town route with a temporary bridge.

The one that will probably be presented to county council is the $2.5 million temporary bridge. It’s rented, made with components designed to be taken apart and returned once the permanent bridge is in service. The price tag for the two-lane bridge didn’t seem so prohibitive once the design team began to consider the cost of paving roads and redesigning intersections on the shorter route out of town.

The preferred design for the permanent bridge is a two-span structure, not a three-span like the present bridge. It will not interfere with the existing mill race. Use of the two-span design would actually improve water flow.

With wide sidewalks and solid concrete walls topped by an ornamental steel railing, it’s quite attractive, and presents a similar look to the present bridge. There’s the possibility of viewing platforms on either side.

After reviewing public comments from the meeting (www.paisleybridgestudy.ca) there’ll be further studies and the final report. Construction should begin in 2022.

Questions from the public included the possibility of incorporating some measures to reduce speeding. While that’s not possible, the county has various other measures to combat speeding.

Fire Chief Dave Teeple asked about the turning radius for the fire trucks – he was told the matter is being looked at and may require relocating a hydro pole or hydro poles.

There was a suggestion about leaving some of the detour bridge infrastructure in place, but that can’t happen. The bridge is a rental, and the infrastructure is designed to last only a couple of winters.

Arran-Elderslie Mayor Steve Hammell commented that the preferred option “looks really nice.” The statement was echoed by others at the meeting.

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

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