News Local

Campbellford bridge plans move ahead

By Valerie MacDonald, Northumberland Today

Trent Hills Mayor Hector Macmillan

Trent Hills Mayor Hector Macmillan

CAMPBELLFORD - 

The more than $16.5-million construction costs for a new bridge to cross the Trent River in Campbellford is a major undertaking in Northumberland County’s transportation plans – and phased construction will begin in five years.

With the recent approval of the Environmental Assessment (EA) by Ontario’s Ministry of Environment, “the County will immediately begin work on the preparation of an implementation plan,” County spokesperson Kate Campbell stated in an e-mail.

“Completing and releasing Terms of Reference for this build project to select a firm for the detail design process” for the proposed Second Street bridge, north of the existing Trent River crossing on Bridge Street in downtown Campbellford, is the goal by the end of the year, she also stated.

The new two-lane bridge in Campbellford will be located about 400 metres south of the existing Bridge Street bridge, between Second Street and Alma Street. It’s location, replacing the existing downtown bridge, had masses of people attending public meetings and council sessions over the past few years.

The environment ministry has deemed further public consultation take place – and with the completion of the new bridges detailed design process being undertaken between 2019 and 2020 “the County will engage the community and feedback sessions will be organized during this time-frame to seek input into the bridge’s ‘look and feel’,” Campbell stated.

“The intention is to have this design completed in time for the next rounds of federal/provincial infrastructure funding, which typically require applications for ‘shovel-ready’ projects in order to be eligible.”

Tendering will take place after securing approvals from two federal bodies including Parks Canada (Trent-Severn Waterway), Transport Canada, plus the Ministry of Environment.

The actual construction, undertaken in phases, is anticipated to begin in 2022, just five years from now even though the remaining lifespan of the Bridge Street, Campbellford bridge is

25 to 30 years.

“The existing bridge will remain operational during the build of the second bridge,” Campbell stated, adding that the “current EA stipulates that the existing bridge will be replaced at the conclusion of its lifespan.”

Northumberland County Warden Mark Walas stated in a media release that the County appreciates “the Minister’s recognition that the County developed this project in accordance with the requirements under the Environmental Assessment Act, and we look forward to proceeding with next steps based on the conditions outlined in the Minister’s decision.”

Trent Hills Mayor and County councillor Hector Macmillan stated in the same release that “for some residents, this will bring relief as they move forward with decisions they knew they may have to make with this project coming to fruition. For the vast majority of Northumberland residents, and Trent Hills residents in particular, the completion of this critical infrastructure project will deliver on many exciting objectives:

1. A continuous river crossing will be available when the current bridge is demolished and replaced;

2. Traffic gridlock issues will be resolved, significantly reducing wait times and idling-related air pollution; and

3. An additional river crossing will generate new opportunities for economic growth.”

vmacdonald@postmedia.com