Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Lord Selkirk Bridge set to open to traffic on Nov. 13

File photo

Traffic is set to flow over the newly rehabilitated Lord Selkirk Bridge in Wallaceburg by next week.

Sharing some information from Municipality of Chatham-Kent staff, Wallaceburg Councillor Aaron Hall posted on social media that the bridge is set to be open to traffic by Wednesday, November 13.

“As per contractor, bridge open to traffic and one side for pedestrians November 13, 2019,” Hall posted.

“Painting of the balance of the bridge will be all done this week. Site cleanup and preparation for Remembrance Day. South span welding of the deck grating.”

Hall said for approximately two to three weeks after the bridge is open to traffic, site clean up and other minor details will be completed.

“For (approximately) 2-3 weeks after bridge open to traffic, James Street will remain closed at McNaughton (as it currently is and has been) due to site trailers and staging of remaining equipment,” Hall wrote.

“For (approximately) 2-3 weeks after bridge open to traffic, contractor will be doing some ongoing: Bridge balancing, testing and commissioning (opening and closing) (and) completion of some of the electrical and mechanical equipment.”

Hall said the information was provided to him by Chris Thibert, the director of infrastructure and engineering for the Municipality.

The rehabilitation project for the bridge received unanimous approval from Chatham-Kent Council on Monday, December 17, 2018.

A tender in the amount of $5.3-million was awarded to Landform Civil Infrastructures Inc.

Staff said in a report the rehabilitation involves structural, mechanical, and electrical repairs which will allow this structure to continue to operate as a moveable bridge while achieving the overall goal of removal of the current load posting, which has been in place since November of 2016.

A staff report indicates the contract consists of:

– Rehabilitation / replacement of various structural steel components.

– Rehabilitation of existing concrete abutments, concrete wing-walls, concrete deck and asphalt wearing surface

– Rehabilitation / replacement of steel barriers

– Balance Bridge counterweights

– Rework of the Main Pinion support to correct gear tooth meshing.

– Adjust span lock machinery

– Adjust rear span stops to align leaf tips and other maintenance items.

– Replace Control console, replace various controls

– Replace PLC, replace two leaf drive VFD’s, replace high speed wireless radio transmitter/receiver equipment.

– Install replacement limit switches (rockers, jacks and tail locks); uninterruptible power supply (UPS)

– Install diesel generator set and automatic transfer switch.

The bridge has been under construction since February of this year.

Back in May, officials with the Municipality of Chatham-Kent’s Engineering and Transportation Department announced a new completion date for the rehabilitation project, which was early October, 2019.

“This is a change from the original completion date of early September,” Engineering and Transportation officials said in a media release.

“During the removal of the existing bridge deck, several deficiencies were identified to components of the bridge that were to remain in place. The majority of these deficiencies were not able to be determined until removals took place and properly exposed all interior elements.”

Municipal officials added: “In order to ensure the structural integrity of the bridge as well as public safety following construction, these deficiencies need to be corrected which require additional time and/or materials to complete.”

The bridge was set to remain closed to both vehicular and pedestrian traffic for the duration of construction however, marine traffic would continue to be accommodated, Engineering and Transportation officials said.

In August, a further delay to the project was announced.

Citing “additional bridge work needed” as the reason, Hall said the rationale for the new completion date is “completely justified” due to extra work that is required above and beyond the contract requirements.

Staff said in a report this rehabilitation will provide approximately 25 years of service.

At that point in time, another rehabilitation of the same magnitude will likely be possible.

A completely replaced structure, at a value of approximately $21,000,000, will provide 75 years of service with a major rehabilitation at approximately 38 years.

The bridge structure is part of the MTO Connecting Link roadway network and received $3-million in funding to assist with the rehabilitation.

The remainder of the project costs came from the Bridge Lifecycle Reserve.

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