CENTRE WELLINGTON – At nearly 100 years of age, Bridge 27-WG, located on Sideroad 20 between Fifth and Sixth Line in the former Township of West Garafraxa is set to be replaced.
The bridge, built in 1918 is in severe disrepair and requires replacement. Evidence of distress exists in the form of cracks and missing sections of concrete. The bridge has had load limitations for several years and was closed to traffic in 2015 until replacement takes place due to safety risks posed by the severely deteriorated condition.
The construction work will include the replacement of the existing single lane bridge with a larger free-span two lane precast concrete girder bridge and the completion of the realignment of Sideroad 20 along the bridge approaches to suit the wider two lane bridge. The bridge abutments, which are currently located within the bank full width of the stream, will be relocated further away from the creek such that the banks beneath the new structure will be reinstated and naturalized.
The Township has made the replacement and reconstruction of roads and bridges a priority. Since the completion of the Class EA in 2014, Township staff and its consultants have been working with local residents, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) to develop the preferred concept, detailed design, Ontario Community Infrastructure Funding (OCIF) grant funding applications, permits and approvals so that the bridge can be constructed in 2017.
"Rebuilding this bridge has been made possible by our Council's 2% Dedicated Capital Levy Bridge Replacement Program established in 2015." stated Mayor Kelly Linton "It is a perfect example of how we are prioritizing our spending on Centre Wellington's critical infrastructure needs."
Of particular note, the MNRF have identified this reach of Irvine Creek as having suitable habitat for Redside Dace fish. Redside Dace is a Species-At-Risk under the Endangered Species Act. The Township has received the applicable permits from the MNRF including a Fish Collection License (FCL) for the construction of a cofferdam to allow for the removal of the existing bridge abutments. We have also received the MNRF permit under clause 17(2)(c) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) with respect to habitat of Redside Dace in order to replace and widen the existing bridge 27-WG. Since the Redside Dace has not been spotted on the Irvine Creek for the past 15 years, the MNRF requires the Township to complete a fish survey as a condition of the permit in order to provide data on the presence or absence of Redside Dace in the Irvine Creek.
Construction began on July 31. It is anticipated that the new Bridge 27-WG will be open by the end of 2017. If the weather this summer/fall is poor causing delays, the bridge construction will pause over the winter and will resume for completion in spring 2018.
For more information:
Kendra Martin | Communications Coordinator
Township of Centre Wellington | 1 MacDonald Square, Elora, ON N0B 1S0
519.846.9691 x220 centrewellington.ca
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