Work progresses toward Mono’s Bridge 5 replacement

April 11, 2024   ·   0 Comments


Mono staff has taken steps that could yield the replacement of the long-debated future of a bridge.

Mono council heard during its April 9 meeting that Public Works has a plan to replace Bridge 5 to keep Hurontario Street open between Hockley Road and 10 Sideroad to through traffic for most of the year.

Council gave the green light for staff to continue work toward the bridge’s replacement.

The question of what to do with Bridge 5 has been around since 2017, said Matt Doner, the town’s public works director.

“It’s been a need that’s been flagged since probably even before then,” he said.

His staff and the town’s engineer have been trying to determine the best replacement solution that also improves road safety.

The terrain surrounding the bridge presented complications in determining what would be the best type of replacement structure that would accommodate road width and alignment.

It was important that improvements to each of those components form part of the new design, according to a report to council.

It isn’t feasible to rehabilitate the existing structure due to its age, poor alignment, and overall condition. And Public Works staff felt that simply closing the bridge would result in incurred road and slope maintenance costs due to limited space to turn around at the bridge approaches.

“If we were to close the road, we would have to do it at locations that would not land-lock some properties,” Doner said.

If the road was closed at the bridge, the section of road beyond it would eventually end up in the river over time through erosion, he said, unless it’s maintained.

The most practical replacement option is a corrugated steel multi-plate arch culvert with cast-in-place concrete footings. For comparison, that’s similar to Bridge 4 directly south of Bridge 5 and north of Hockley Road.

“The area is very difficult to get to,” Doner said. “Concrete is expensive. Everything is becoming more and more expensive.”

Staff already has the fill material necessary for the recommended replacement design. Geotechnical work already completed includes boreholes being drilled and soil samples taken.

“Cost [and] access to the site are two key reasons,” he said in response to Councillor Ralph Manktelow’s questions as to why the particular design was chosen.

In his report, Doner said that the option considers the challenges associated with accessing the site and gives a cost-effective option that has a service life of as long as 75 years.

“I think that the proposed design is the most economical solution and it will give us a long-term solution as well for keeping this road open,” Doner said.

This option would not only improve road safety but also provide efficiency for road maintenance.

“There’d be some potential for widening it in the future should we want to extend it,” Doner said. “So there’s some flexibility there, too.”

The current bridge is a single-lane structure. The desire is to construct a two-lane bridge in its place. Widening the road and bridge would make the project eligible for development charge contributions.

“I’ll know more about that closer to budget time and throughout the summer months,” Doner said.

For this project to be ready for tender in early 2025 to attract competitive bids, Public Works asked for the go-ahead to proceed with finalizing the described design. Tendering would still be subject to 2025 capital budget approvals.

Doner said the overall cost to finish the design and to replace the bridge could be as much as $1.5 million.

“When the cost comes in and we’re doing the 2025 budget, is there a possibility that we don’t put all that cost into 2025?” said Deputy Mayor Fred Nix. “Could we spread it over a year or two?”

That might be determined when a final engineering estimate is obtained and work to hammer out next year’s capital and operating budget begins.

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