Public Works looks to make bridge in Mono a year-round thoroughfare

February 9, 2023   ·   0 Comments


Mono Public Works outlined some of the anticipated capital projects for 2023.

Mike Dunmore, the town’s Public Works director, tabled a list of 22 projects during Mono council’s regular meeting on Jan. 25.

With 22 items on the department’s wishlist and the level of detail for each project, Dunmore said residents could find his report on the municipal website.

The department completes traffic counts at numerous locations to ensure every road is assessed at least once every four to six years. Roads showing increased traffic are assessed the following year to ensure the trend increase was not the result of an unforeseen spike.

In general, all roads in Mono are seeing a slight volume increase over the last five years but the values remain generally static. Traffic counts also ensure roads receive the correct classification for their level of service.

“The treasurer for the Town of Mono will take my total accumulation of funds that I’m requesting, he will apply appropriate gas tax expenditures,” Dunmore said.

The tally of expenditures will be adjusted accordingly based on the gas tax, he said. Council is slated to discuss the town’s 2023 capital and operating budget in the coming weeks.

One of the projects outlined in the department’s wish list is work on Bridge 5 on Hurontario Street north of Hockley Road.

In the 2022 municipal budget presentation, Public Works requested that council reserve money for the replacement of Bridge 5.

“Public Works is staying pretty firm with the replacement of this structure,” Dunmore said. “There’s a request to create a fulltime, year-round road, which is still up for discussion with Public Works.”

That could be as much as a $700,000 budgetary increase, he said.

Council had some concerns with regard to the requirement of the bridge due to its seasonal use and directed staff to survey residents to hear opinions from the ratepayers.

The survey received 103 responses.

The department was satisfied with the survey results, and it remains consistent with council’s Strategic Plan’s directive to protect and enhance the infrastructure.

Dunmore said Public Works firmly believes the bridge’s replacement should occur with an upgrade to the existing roadway to enable year-round service.

This would come with operational efficiencies to Public Works, increased residential access, and provide support for traffic affected when issues occur on Highway 10 and County Road 7.

“Council has seen that rehabilitation at the 70- to 75-year mark gets us hopefully 30 years,” Dunmore said. “Bridge 5, we came up with a 22-year extension.”

The bridge has served its useful life, he said.

“It is coming time for replacement and Public Works would like to run with that this year,” he said.

Deputy Mayor Fred Nix questioned whether the bridge is a priority for this year.

Nix said a report described doing the bridge work in 2025, but Dunmore is lobbying to do it in 2024.

“That’s okay,” Nix said. “What if we just deferred doing the road improvements (at the bridge site) for a couple years.”

That might enable council to put as much as $500,000 into a reserve fund this year for the work next year.

But Dunmore said the bridge is going to be changed in order to accept the new road. As it is now, motorists navigate a 90-degree turn to access the bridge.

Bridge 5 was rehabilitated in 1999, but deterioration to its key elements was revealed during biennial bridge inspections in 2022.

Dunmore recommends replacement of the structure in 2025 at the latest. As previously noted, a draft feasibility study was conducted by the town’s engineer in 2018. It considered options for rehabilitation, replacement, removal only, or doing nothing.

However, given the findings of the recent 2022 inspection and recent conversations with the town’s engineer, the general consensus is that the most cost-effective and practical option over the long term is to replace the structure.

A new structure would take the current poor road alignment and roadside safety requirements into account, improving the town’s existing road network and serve as a safe and alternative option to accessing the southern portion of the town year-round.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.