News Local

Bridge repairs to begin this summer

By Valerie MacDonald, Northumberland Today


Repair of two Highway 401 bridges – at County Road 45 north of Cobourg and at Ontario Street at the border with Hamilton Township – will take place beginning this summer and continue into 2014, says a transportation ministry spokesperson.

Repair and improvements are needed on the bridges, communications co-ordinator Brandy Duhaime confirmed in an e-mail.

The bridges "remain safe" at this time, she noted, but repairs are being undertaken "to ensure the safety of the traveling public."

Expansion of these bridges and the section of Highway 401 from Burnham Street east to Nagle Road will be undertaken at a time "yet to be confirmed," she stated.

The bridge repairs are a separate contract from the six-lane expansion project and the bridge repair contracts will be let this spring. Because of the tendering process Duhaime declined to say how much the repairs are likely to cost.

The Town of Cobourg and Hamilton Township councils have been asked to permit exceptions to their noise bylaws to allow work to take place between 7 p.m. and midnight "to minimize the overall duration of the work, and to minimize impacts to traffic on Highway 401, and adjacent roads during peak periods," Duhaime states.

Concrete removal will take place during this time.

"During construction, motorists can expect County Road 45 to be reduced to one lane in each direction (north / south). Periodic lane closures will be needed on Highway 401. Traffic There will be no impacts to traffic on top of the Ontario Street Bridge," Duhaime stated. "All work will be done under the bridge. Nightly ramp closures will be needed for the westbound off-ramp (four to six weeks) on County Road 45. Traffic wanting to exit at County Road 45 will be directed to the next interchange on Highway 401 at Burnham Street, and will be redirected to use Highway 401 eastbound back to County Road 45."

Hamilton Township has not yet given permission for an exception to its noise bylaw as councillors have questioned how this long period of construction noise, going as late as midnight, might affect nearby residents.

Deputy Mayor Isobel Hie suggested that a noise barrier be installed by the ministry, if the noise causes complaints.

Mayor Mark Lovshin said council should agree to the time of the work and associated construction noise for this year and then, if required, asked for noise buffering for any extension of work into 2014.

Discussions about the noise bylaw exemption for the bridge work on Highway 401 took place at the township's new standing committee and last week's committee of the whole. The matter returns to council this week for a final decision.

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