Country 93

Country 93

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

10th Street Bridge Decision Delayed

Owen Sound | by Matt Hermiz  

Owen Sound council will wait until October to decide on a bridge replacement design.

Owen Sound city council still isn't ready to endorse a 10th Street Bridge replacement plan.

Council received a report at Monday night's meeting from Director of Public Works & Engineering Dennis Kefalas which largely cited cost concerns as reasoning for rejecting alternative plans the bridge replacement.

At council's last meeting on Aug. 27, several councillors asked for city staff for more information about additional design alternatives from the five-lane option recommended by consultants.

Kefalas told councillors at yesterday's meeting alternatives such as building additional lanes on 10th Street, installing a temporary bridge or performing construction in phases to keep part of the bridge open during the replacement project, would add additional costs ranging from $1.4-million to $14.1-million to the budget.

City staff recommended council approve moving forward with the five-lane bridge option -- essentially the status quo.

The budget for the replacement project staff and consultants are recommending is $7.5-million.

Instead of voting on the recommendation, Coun. Brian O'Leary moved a motion that was passed unanimously by council to delay voting on the plan until the next meeting on Oct. 1.

O'Leary's motion asks city staff to provide more information about the option of making the northern-most lane on the 10th Street bridge a one-way street between 1st Avenue West and 1st Avenue East, with the direction of traffic flow changing during certain hours of the day.

Kefalas says a rough cost estimate of this alternative would be an additional $340,000.

"It is the only option that alleviates traffic from 10th Street," O'Leary says.

Kefalas' report estimates only about eight to 10 per cent of all traffic using the 10th Street Bridge is moving from the northeast to northwest, or vice-versa.

The city is receiving a $3-million grant for the project through the province's Connecting Links program which has a March 31, 2021 deadline, requiring substantial completion by the end of December 2020.

Kefalas assured council there is no risk in missing this deadline by delaying the decision on a replacement plan for another three weeks.

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