401 spans to be replaced
BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL
Staff Replacement of two 1960s-era Highway 401 bridges in South Glengarry will take place between 2018 and 2020.
“Bainsville (Third Line) Road, we’re proposing for Year 1 and 2, so 2018 and 2019, and then Westley (Second Line) Road will follow in 2019 and 2020,” Nathan Bakker, project manager at engineering and consulting firm WSP, told council during a presentation at the September 18 regular meeting. “We are nearing the end of the detail/design phase for this assignment and are in the process of finalizing the documents and wanting to go to tender for the 2018 construction season.”
Mr. Bakker said that construction, in both cases, will take place “over one to two construction seasons,” but that the work “will be prioritized to make sure the structures get open,” before crews return in the spring for any singlelane closures in order to complete the work. Motorists will be affected by detours, road closures and lane reductions during construction.
WSP was retained by the Ministry of Transportation to complete more than 30 structure replacements and rehabilitations in Eastern Ontario over the next several years.
The Second and Third Line Road bridges are among six 401 corridor structures, from Iroquois to the Quebec border, slated to be reconstructed between 2018 and 2022. The combined price tag for the half-dozen projects is approximately $110 million.
Both the Second and Third Line Road underpasses were constructed in 1964 and rehabilitated once, in 1992.
They are now, according to Mr. Bakker, “nearing the end of their service life,” and in need of replacement. He explained that the “rapid demolition with full road closure” option was chosen to replace both bridges, primarily because it will reduce the overall construction period.
Mr. Bakker added that replacement was recommended over further rehabilitation to “address substandard design issues and allow for the potential widening of Highway 401 at a future date.”
He also stated that there will be several new elements incorporated into the completed bridges, including the use of expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam for embankment reconstruction, which he said would “mitigate any issues with settlement,” and an increased speed limit across each new bridge, to 60 km/h, “to conform to the new designs.”
Mr. Bakker said feedback from a recently-completed public consultation process didn’t reveal any major opposition to the bridge replacements.
“Instead of the traditional ‘bricks and mortar,’ in-person PIC (Public Information Centre), there was a website for the projects, for all of the sites to be replaced along the 401, and we opened it up to public comment for a two-week period in July,” he said.
“We received 10 comments, all of which were generally minor, and focused on traffic and detour routes. Appropriate responses were provided for all of the inquiries.”
CADET SALUTED: Flight Sergeant Travis Lefebvre of the 253 Claude Nunney VC Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron was presented with the Royal Canadian Legion Medal of Excellence recently at the Legion Branch 544 in Lancaster. Presenting the award is branch president the Legion's Bill Bresee. At left is Captain Earle DePass, Commanding Officer of the squadron.) Travis Lefebvre is a grade 9 Iona Academy who lives in Williamstown.
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