News Local

DND comes to Port Hope for bridge work

Cecilia Nasmith

By Cecilia Nasmith, Northumberland Today

PORT HOPE - 

The removal of the current 30-plus-year-old Bailey bridge on Barrett Street will be a military operation, bringing Department of National Defence accommodation tents, field-kitchen and headquarters tents to Port Hope.

This was related in the bylaw council approved this week to allow a noise exemption to accommodate the work of removing the bridge — a so-called Bailey design that is a portable prefabricated truss bridge developed by the British for military use during the Second World War.

The 1980 flood on the Ganaraska River caused too much damage to the bridge at that location for its continued use. The Bailey bridge was brought in as its replacement, planned to be a temporary stop-gap. It is now nearing the end of its lifespan.

Last March, Northumberland MPP Lou Rinaldi announced an Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund grant of $921,946, to be matched by Port Hope and used to create a rigid-frame concrete structure.

This week, council awarded the contract to Colborne-based Fidelity Engineering and Construction Inc. at a total tender price of $1,380,735.02, HST included.

The bylaw authorizing the noise exemption sets out the timetable for the removal of the old bridge.

Construction-related noise and the noise of diesel generators to run the DND's accommodation tents, field-kitchen and headquarters tents will be permitted for four days, it said — from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 11 through 14, the bylaw said.

“However, in the event that unforeseen circumstances arise, work may continue beyond 11 p.m.,” it added.

Audience member John Dietz asked how long the town would be without a bridge at that spot. Councillor Terry Hickey said that the contract for the new bridge had only been approved minutes earlier.

“We will sit down with them to decide everything, including how it's going to be put in and when it's going to be put in,” Hickey promised.

Dietz worried that it would be a matter of months, but the councillor said he expects it should be completed well in advance of the project's December deadline.