14 February 2011
Temporary Bridge Proposed
for College Ave
Originally constructed in 1927, the College Avenue Bridge will cost $1.5 million to
rebuild, allowing for car and truck traffic.
Windsor Ontario - The College Avenue Bridge may finally get some love, if council proceeds with
a recommendation to build a "temporary" replacement bridge.
The bridge has been closed to vehicle traffic since January of 2009. The city has been waiting for Canadian Pacific Railway to decide if it's going to build a
high stack rail tunnel. The city didn't want to begin repairs on the bridge until the outcome of an environmental assessment was known.
But according to city councillor Ron Jones, that could take a while longer.
"That could take another 10 years and we just can't wait that long," said Jones on Monday.
CPR is in the midst of completing an environmental assessment on the high stack rail proposal. That process has put permanent plans for the height and design
of the College Avenue Bridge on hold.
Jones said as a result, accessibility for residents has been a major issue.
McKay Avenue resident Kenten Puryk says the detour adds a couple of minutes to his commute.
"It's quite a pain," Puryk said. "This used to be quite an easy fairway to go through."
David Walls has lived on McKay Avenue for 14 years. He said he's seen an increase in traffic in the last two years, because cars use his street as a detour
"It's an eyesore," said Walls. "You see big blocks of cement sitting up there."
He's eager to see Councillor Jones take action on the issue.
"Ron, keep it movin' because we need the bridge," he said.
$1.5 M for Temporary Bridge
The "temporary" bridge should last for 15 to 25 years and cost $1.5 million, said Mark Winterton, City Manager of Contracts. The money has been set
aside from the 2009 city budget, he said.
If council approves the project, Winterton expects bridge construction to start in September and be completed by the end of 2011.
He's optimistic that the industry can complete the project within the proposed budget, which includes removal of the bridge deck, abutment rehabilitation,
design costs, and the creation of the new span.
Winterton said the design would accommodate truck traffic.
"That would be part of the request for proposals, that truckloads would be permitted on the bridge," Winterton said.
That pleases Jones, a former fire fighter. He has been concerned about fire truck response times on Oak, Elm, and Crawford Avenues.