10th Street work done, for now
Owen Sound has gained a head start on its upcoming $7.5-million project to replace the aging 10th Street bridge thanks to the “preparatory” watermain work that just wrapped up along the busy east-west corridor, city officials say.
“What we did, we would have had to do right before next year’s watermain work. So, in that sense, we gained ourselves a couple of things. We gained ourselves some time and we gained ourselves some public inconvenience when the traffic is lighter than it is once summer hits,” manager of public works Matt Prentice said in an interview Friday.
Dennis Kefalas, the city’s director of public works and engineering, said the work this fall keeps the city on track to start the replacement of the bridge in October or November of next year. The goal, he said, is to wrap up the major project by Christmas 2020.
Harold Sutherland Construction began the preparatory watermain work on 10th Street West in mid-November and finished up Thursday. The work forced the city to reroute traffic – sometimes for a few days in a row – around certain blocks, which resulted in some longer travel times in Owen Sound.
The work involved installing watermain valves at several locations in preparation of a largerscale watermain project next spring.
Since the two major trunk mains that deliver water from the city’s east to west side cross the 10th Street bridge, the city had to develop a plan to ensure municipal water will still flow to the west side at pressures that can also fight fires while the bridge and mains are out.
The rerouting plan, Prentice said, will require the city to upgrade watermains under part of 1st Avenue East near 10th Street, the 900 block of 2nd Avenue West, the 200 block of 9th Street West and the 900 block of 3rd Avenue West.
Those upgrades, which will cost about $1.6 million, still require council approval at budget time for 2019.
Prentice said the watermains that staff are recommending the city upgrade are aging and need to be replaced soon anyway.
The goal, he said, is to begin the watermain upgrades this spring and finish up by the end of summer, a few months before the 10th Street bridge replacement project begins.
The valve work this fall will allow those watermain upgrades to happen without significantly impacting traffic on 10th Street during the spring and summer months.
Along with adding the valves, the city also retained a company that specializes in line stopping.
“That’s where specialized people came in and actually stopped the watermain so you can put in a valve while the watermain is live. The reason we did that was to preserve as much flow in the trunk mains over there as possible,” Prentice said. “So it was a bigger job than just cutting in valves.”
This fall’s valve project cost about $200,000.
City council voted earlier this year to replace the 107-year-old 10th Street bridge with a new precast concrete, girder-style bridge that will have the same number of lanes and configuration as the current structure.
The project must be substantially completed by a Dec. 31, 2020, deadline in order for the city to receive $3 million in funding that has been committed for the project by the Ministry of Transportation.