St. Catharines - Main Office   20 Corporate Park Drive Suite 100-101 St. Catharines, ON L2S 3W2 905.684.1111
Hamilton   605 James St. North Hamilton, ON L8L 1K1 905.525.5153
Kincardine   3245 Bruce Rd 20 Tiverton, ON N0G 2T0 519.368.5610
Thorold Asphalt   3299 Thorold Townline Rd. Thorold, ON L2E 6S4 905.680.4466


Bridge repairs cheaper, quicker than feared

Bridge repairs cheaper, quicker than feared

Repairs to the Forks Road Bridge will begin immediately.

And city engineer Sal Iannello said the work being done by Rankin Construction should be completed by May 19, at a cost that was less than expected.

Iannello said city staff have been in discussion with the consultant that assessed the bridge's condition, as well as Rankin Construction since the bridge was closed to traffic Friday for emergency repairs. Excessive rust was found on parts of the span during a recent inspection, raising concerns about its structural integrity.

“The intent is to have them start immediately,” Iannello told city councillors at Tuesday's meeting.

He said the cost of the repairs is estimated to be about $90,000 plus tax. An upset limit of $120,000 was requested to cover any potential additional costs “in case we uncover some other minor issues.”

Councillors approved the funding for the project, clearing the way for the repairs to proceed.

"The good news part is the number isn't as large as we feared," Iannello said, referring to the estimated cost of the project.

He said Rankin employees will work double shifts to complete the repairs as quickly as possible.

“They promised they will try to have the bridge open reopen for May 20, so they hope to be completed the work by May 19,” Iannello said.

Ward 6 Coun. Bonnie Fokkens was concerned about the potential impact on emergency response times, “because with that bridge being closed Dain City is pretty well isolated.

Welland fire Chief Denys Prevost said the closure of Forks Road Bridge has had an impact on emergency response to the hamlet, forcing firefighters and other emergency personnel to use Canal Bank Street – which could normally lead to delays if a train was in the area at the time.

However, he said if an incident occurs south of the railway lines, Trillium Railway is advised of the situation and the tracks would be immediately cleared in the area

“The chances of us being held up by a train are very low,” he said

“I know in an emergency situation even a minute or two can be very detrimental,” she said

With plans in place to potentially replace the bridge in 2020, Ward 4 Coun. Pat Chiocchio asked if the repairs would allow the bridge to last another four years.

Iannello said it doesn't guarantee that other problems might arise with the structure until it's replaced.

“There's always a possibility that some other area will require small repairs,” he said. “That's the purpose of the annual inspections.”

Asked if plans to replace the bridge should be expedited, Iannello said “the sooner the better.”

However, it will likely cost $10-million to replace it.

By Allan Benner, The Tribune
Original Article