A rehabilitation project for the Baseline Bridge in Wallaceburg received Council approval on Monday night, April 27, 2020.
Wallaceburg Councillor Carmen McGregor entered a successful motion to approve the first three recommendations listed in the report.
The tender contract was awarded to the lowest bidder, Landform Civil Infrastructures Inc. of Hamilton, Ontario, at a value not to exceed $2,196,194.
Municipality of Chatham-Kent staff will negotiate an agreement with the contractor to bring the project closer to the budgeted amount, as Landform’s bid had totaled $2,888,675.50.
If the negotiation proves to be unsuccessful, the contract will be cancelled and separate tenders will be issued for the structural and mechanical work required for the bridge.
Wallaceburg Councillor Aaron Hall made a successful amendment to the original motion, which sent the fourth recommendation in the report back to staff.
The fourth recommendation had looked to explore converting the Dundas and Murray Street bridges into fixed, non-movable structures.
The amendment directed staff to setup a meeting with Transport Canada to discuss the Navigable Waters Act and how it applies to Wallaceburg and Chatham-Kent overall.
The amendment also directed staff to include details related to the decision making process behind changing the community of Chatham’s movable bridges to fixed bridges.
Also, the amendment said specific consultation and discussions with Walpole Island First Nation and the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority must be included in any future investigation and any future investigation and consultation would focus on all movable bridges in Chatham-Kent.
Hall said in a social media post that he felt the first three recommendations in the report were the best way forward.
“It listened to what the consultant recommended, it followed along with the feedback we heard from the community to keep the bridge a movable structure and it also looked to get the project back on budget by negotiating the price with the contractor, which is beneficial to all of the tax payers in Chatham-Kent,” Hall wrote.
Chris Thibert, director of engineering, said the timeline for the project will be approximately two months for the structural work and two months for the mechanical work. Also, Thibert said the negotiation of the price with the contractor will happen right away.
The staff report indicates that August 4, 2020 would be the anticipated completion date for all of the work. However, Thomas Kelly, general manager of infrastructure and engineering services said on Monday that the COVID-19 pandemic could impact the timeline for the project.
Hall said on social media that McGregor and himself will update the community once more concrete timelines are established.
To read the full report, click here.
Some prior coverage on the topic can be read, here.