Tale of two projects: Port Bruce pier progressing, bridge hits barrier
PORT BRUCE, Ont. -- One project is progressing, while another project appears to be on pause.
Port Bruce has two major construction initiatives ongoing and both are on a tight timeline, with political leaders pressing to get them done.
Work on the Port Bruce pier is moving along nicely now, but crews experienced significant delays caused by rough weather at the end of October and into November.
Malahide Township Mayor Dave Mennill says that churned up Lake Erie making unsafe to work on the pier, "It put us way behind but now it seems to be a lot calmer and progress is being made."
The cost of work on pier is about $1.9 million and involves a barge carrying heavy equipment which is being used to place pilings at the mouth of Catfish Creek.
Those pilings will help create a breakwall to stop waves crashing in from the east. And crews say concrete could go down on the end of the pier within a week or two.
Mennill says that will raise it up about a foot and improving the surface area, "It's going to be a lot safer because previously there was a lot of spots that were broken and cracks in the pier."
The other major project is the replacement of the Imperial Road Bridge which collapsed in late February of 2018, effectively cutting the community in half.
Funding has been promised by both the federal and provincial governments, but those dollars still haven’t been finalized. According to Mennill, "We've already got a commitment from them verbally. But the bean counters want to have everything in place.
Footings need to go into the river this fall in order to limit the impact of a construction moratorium during fish spawning season which starts in the spring.
So even though Monday provided a warm, dry mid-November day crews couldn’t use the opportunity to get those footings in.
What Mennill doesn't want to see is another delay and another summer season of relying on the temporary bridge now in place, "The target date for completion is Sept. 2020 and that was based on getting the footings in in 2019."
The mayor says the Elgin County engineer is expected to report back on the tendering process for the bridge work at next Tuesday's county council meeting.
The new bridge is expected to cost about $5 million.