10th Street work done, for now

The Sun Times (Owen Sound) - - FRONT PAGE - DE­NIS LAN­GLOIS SUN TIMES STAFF

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.

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