Causeway work to start ‘in the near future’
Traffic to be reduced to single lane
Major construction on the James A. Gifford Causeway is expected to begin soon – although Peterborough County staff doesn’t know exactly when.
The causeway spans Chemong Lake to link Bridgenorth and Ennismore.
It needs to have its rock base expanded along the south side. This is meant to reinforce the base of the roadway, states a new release from Peterborough County staff.
Construction could take more than two years. County council has hired its contractor: Drain Bros. Excavating will do the work.
The base-expansion project is expected to begin “in the near future”, states the release, although there’s no exact date yet (county staff is still working to get all the federal approvals to start).
Once construction gets started, it’s expected to continue through all of 2019 and 2020.
Next, rehabilitation of the asphalt surface of the causeway will be done.
Motorists can expect traffic to be reduced to one lane, at various points during the construction period.
More than 10,000 vehicles cross the causeway each day, making it the county's busiest section of road.
But as long ago as 2013, county staff said the bridge was wearing out.
For at least five years, the causeway has had surface cracks
and potholes, erosion of embankments and failure of gabion baskets (rock-filled cages) at the water's edge.
Meanwhile the bridge needed emergency repairs this summer after a devastating wind storm on May 4.
Prevailing winds of more than 100 km/h during the storm created waves that reportedly overtopped the roadway, causing significant damage to the embankments of the spans.
The same windstorm also damaged Gannon's Narrows Causeway, which connects Ennismore and Trent Lakes where Pigeon and Buckhorn lakes meet.
Peterborough County planned to spend a total of $400,000 to the emergency repairs on both causeways this summer.
Eventually the county plans to widen the two-lane causeway to four lanes, which is expected to cost $18 million.
A view of the James A. Gifford Causeway is taken on Thursday near Bridgenorth. Work is planned to expand the rock base of the causeway to reinforce the base of the roadway.