A giant auger is being used to drill down five metres into the bedrock to anchor a
string of 280 concrete posts on either side of the railway line to support the new bridge.
25 July 2011
Train Delays Near an End
Cambridge Ontario - Traffic problems at the railway crossing near the Delta intersection on Hespeler Road will be compounded by lane
reductions for the next few weeks.
But, by mid-September, drivers will never again be delayed by trains.
Regional traffic planners and their contractors are taking advantage of lighter traffic expected during summer holidays to complete some critical preliminary
work on the $25 million Hespeler Road railway overpass.
In the coming weeks, drivers and area residents can expect to see lane restrictions on the street and added noise as a massive auger drills down five metres
into the bedrock to anchor a string of 280 concrete posts on either side of the railway line that will support the new bridge.
Not all of the posts will be planted in the bedrock, but regional officials say contractors will try to complete the noisiest work during the day to minimize
the inconvenience to area residents.
"What we are doing is making hay while the sun shines and taking advantage of the lighter traffic to get more of the critical preliminary work done,"
said Waterloo Region project manager John Stephenson.
Given the lighter traffic on the roads with people away on vacation, Stephenson said the contractor is extending the length of lane reductions by another 30
minutes in the mornings and afternoons.
Initial plans called for reductions down to two lanes on Hespeler Road, south of Avenue Road, between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The lanes will be re-opened during the morning and afternoon rush, but closed again from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to provide room for the massive drill.
Those plans have since been modified.
Lanes will be reduced from four to two lanes at 8:30 a.m. and then reopened after 3:30 p.m.
"This will increase our productivity by 25 percent," explained Stephenson, "because instead of being able to work for five hours we'll be able
to work six. The contractor is also bringing in a second drill which will also make the work go quicker."
The region and its contractor will monitor traffic during the next few weeks.
Should traffic flows increase to a point where the congestion becomes too great, they will return to the previously planned timetable.
"One thing that the contractor and I have noticed is how well behaved and courteous the drivers are being, which we hope will continue through the
remainder of the project," Stephenson said.
"Safety is a primary concern for us, not just for the drivers, but also for the people working on the construction site."
By the second week of August, southbound traffic will be diverted over a temporary bridge across the new railway tracks.
If everything happens as planned, northbound traffic will be diverted around the construction site by mid-September.
The initial plans to work 24-7 on the project this summer have also been set aside.
The contractor is hoping to complete the drilling operation without having to work through the night.
In any case, overnight construction would be mindful of nearby homes.
Once traffic has been diverted over the temporary bridge, construction crews can begin work on the eastern side of the bridge and the tracks that will run
When that work is completed next June, that portion of the bridge will be opened to allow work on the west half of the span to start.
The project is scheduled to be finished by 31 Oct 2012.