Township forced to close Concession 2 bridge
Structural deficiencies have prompted the temporary closure of a bridge on Concession 2 Sunnidale and the need for Clearview Township council to decide its fate.
It is an example of a bridge that doesn’t have a lot of traffic but will require a significant investment to repair.
The steel truss bridge was constructed circa 1930 and is a sister bridge to the one on Kearnan Road, which collapsed in the 2000s, reported RJ Burnside engineer Jeremy Cober to council on April 26.
The ward councillor for the area, John Lamers, was adamant that the roadway should remain open to avoid having to go around on McKinnon Road.
“We need to keep it open, or re-open the Kearnan bridge,” he said.
The bridge is adjacent to a no-winter maintenance road and is primarily used by pedestrians and snowmobiles. To the east, there is an access to a bird viewing lookout tower on the outskirts of the Minesing Wetlands.
The lack of clearance between the bridge and the Mad River below is to blame for the corrosion. Cober said the bridge is regularly submerged in water, when the river rises.
The bridge was rehabilitated in 2011, and now council will have to decide if rehabilitation is again warranted at a cost of $300,000 to extend its life by another 10 years.
Other options include a full replacement of the bridge at an estimated cost of $1.1 million, replacing it with a culvert system at a cost of $500,000, or removing the bridge at a cost of $75,000 and cutting off the roadway.
As part of the decision, council will have to consider the heritage of the structure and consult with the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. Cober said the bridge is likely to have heritage value because it is a non standard bridge type and it is more than 40 years old.
There is also a residence to consider because the bridge does allow for access into Clearview during the seasons when the road is passable.
Councillor Connie Leishman said she thinks the road should be closed because of the environmental sensitivity of the area.