Bridging the funding gap between original project and revised plans

·3 min read

BROCKTON – Bridges are on the agenda for Mayor Chris Peabody this week.

The first is the D. S. Weis Bridge rehabilitation project. Peabody said the work on the bridge will be more extensive than anticipated, necessitating a special meeting of council on June 15 to approve the extra costs involved – $188,361.80 plus HST – to be funded through borrowing.

The bridge is located on Brant Concession 8, between Side Road 10 and County Road 3.

The initial tender was for $697,106.27 plus HST, approved at the April 13 council meeting. The successful bidder was National Structures Inc.

When the company began work May 31, they expected a completion time of approximately eight weeks.

Things have not gone as planned. After the asphalt was removed, it became apparent the amount of deterioration was more severe than expected. Peabody said it’s not 15 per cent but 40 per cent. Because work has commenced, a decision must be made quickly on next steps.

Option one is a patch repair. Although less expensive, it would be temporary. Further work would have to be done in five or 10 years.

The recommended option is the second one – a full concrete overlay. According to the engineers’ report, it would actually turn out to be the cheaper option, since the additional rehabilitation work would push the cost well over the $188,000 mark. The full concrete overlay would last at least two to three times longer than the repair.

While the recommended option involves completely closing the bridge sooner than expected, the time involved would be less than originally anticipated and a detour is already in place.

The paper went to press prior to the special meeting; additional information will be available in next week’s council coverage.

The other bridge being discussed this week is the one in Paisley. Peabody said the project comes before Bruce County council on Thursday.

The $10 million project involves renting a temporary bailey bridge for two years.

It’s of interest to Brockton residents for a number of reasons. It’s on a well-used route – a lot of Bruce Power workers cross that bridge. And there are a lot of similarities between this project and the one proposed for Walkerton a few years from now.

“We’re next,” said Peabody.

He said he wouldn’t be surprised if the county decided to delay the Walkerton project a bit because of the cost of the Paisley project.

The other matter of interest to Peabody coming from county council is another policy paper on housing.

The Brockton mayor said he’s pleased with the way the county is taking action on the housing crisis.

What he’d like to see is more growth permitted in Brockton’s hamlets, something that isn’t happening at the moment. There’s an eight-unit project in Hepworth that’s caught Peabody’s attention. As would be the case in Brockton’s hamlets, it’s on septic, not municipal services.

“There’s such a critical shortage of building lots,” said Peabody. “We need to push for more diversity.” And that means looking beyond growth in Walkerton, to include the hamlets.

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

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