County ap­plies for bridge re­place­ment fund­ing

The Beacon Herald - - LOCAL NEWS - GALEN SIM­MONS STAFF RE­PORTER gsim­mons@post­media.com

The planned 2018 re­place­ment of the rapidly de­te­ri­o­rat­ing load-re­stricted Meyer Bridge, lo­cated on Perth Line 44 be­tween Brod­ha­gen and Born­holm in West Perth, may have a chance of re­ceiv­ing gov­ern­ment fund­ing.

At Thursday’s meet­ing, Perth County coun­cil voted to sub­mit an ap­pli­ca­tion for top-up fund­ing from the On­tario Com­mu­nity In­fra­struc­ture Fund (OCIF) of up to $1.19 mil­lion for the re­place­ment of the Meyer Bridge.

“The bridge is cur­rently load re­stricted due to its con­di­tion of re­duced struc­tural ca­pac­ity, and Perth Line 44 from Highway 23 to Perth Road 180 was sched­uled to be re­con­structed in 2019. The Meyer Bridge has been bud­geted to be re­placed next year in 2018, ahead of the road project,” said John McClel­land, the county’s di­rec­tor of pub­lic works.

In 2014, a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion project was aborted when the bridge’s con­crete was found to be badly de­te­ri­o­rated. Its re­place­ment next year is es­ti­mated to cost around $.19 mil­lion, with $25,000 bud­geted in 2017 for pre-engi­neer­ing and de­sign, and $1.165 mil­lion ear­marked in 2018 for con­struc­tion. As part of the 2017 OCIF top-up in­take, Perth County is el­i­gi­ble to ap­ply for up to $1,198,455.

“The project bud­get for the Meyer Bridge re­place­ment op­ti­mizes the amount of el­i­gi­ble funds that (Perth County) can ap­ply for un­der the 2017 OCIF top-up in­take,” McClel­lan said.

The OCIF’s top-up com­po­nent has been in­creased by $100 mil­lion this year to al­low com­mu­ni­ties to ap­ply for ad­di­tional fund­ing to ad­dress larger crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture projects. The 2017 topup in­take will favour com­mu­ni­ties that have been granted a com­bined to­tal of less than $2 mil­lion in OCIF fund­ing for projects in 2018 and 2019.

Only one pro­posal from each mu­nic­i­pal­ity can be sub­mit­ted for OCIF top-up fund­ing, and each project will be as­sessed based on its crit­i­cal health and safety as­pects. The dead­line for ap­pli­ca­tions is Sept. 27.

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