The Ministry of Transportation is currently accepting applications for their connecting links program, and Mattawa council is putting forward the Pont Mauril Belanger Bridge as a candidate for funding.
Connecting links? According to the MTO, “connecting links are municipal roads that connect two ends of a provincial highway through a community or to an international or interprovincial border crossing.”
Last year, the ministry awarded $30 million in funding for improvements to vital links, and this year they are matching that amount, which will be doled out throughout 2022-23 to eligible communities.
The program funding covers up to 90 per cent of eligible projects with a cap of $3 million for roads and $5 million for bridge work.
For Mattawa, the area from the round-a-bout to First Street constitutes a connecting link, councillor Gary Larose clarified in his report to council, which makes the municipality eligible to apply, and plans are underway to put together an application package for MTO funding.
The municipality considered putting one together to resurface Main Street, but after consulting with their engineers of record, “it has been recommended to address the long-term rehabilitation of the Pont Mauril Belanger Bridge,” Councillor Larose explained.
This project “is a top priority” for the municipality, he added, and if approved, the funding will go towards a detailed structural review of the bridge and an environmental assessment of the project.
Improvements to the existing walkway on the bridge will be undertaken, and guardrails and railings will be replaced.
Work will also be done to improve “flood protection, erosion control, and ice protection” for the existing abutments.
The entire bridge will be resurfaced, and the funds will also cover the engineering design, project management and construction administration.
The application deadline is November 19, and the MTO will announce recipients early in 2022.
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca