Possible rehabilitation of Walkerton Durham Street bridge may affect traffic

A recently completed Bridge Condition Survey summary presented to County Council by Triton Engineering Services Limited (Triton) regarding the Durham Street bridge in Walkerton, confirms that the existing bridge is generally structurally sound and “rehabilitation should be investigated as this could be a feasible and economical solution to extending the overall life of the bridge”.

As a result, rehabilitation alternatives will be added to the on-going Schedule ‘C’ Environmental Assessment following the completion of the third-party review. Further consultations with a contractor that specializes in half-joint rehabilitation suggest the work could be completed while maintaining one lane of traffic over the bridge.

Burgess Engineering recommends however, that Heavy Truck traffic, with exceptions for Municipal maintenance and Fire/EMS vehicles, should be restricted from crossing the bridge and that an alternate truck route (ATR) be established until rehabilitation/repairs are made to the bridge.

“A rehabilitation option could prove to be cost effective and provide significant life extending measures for the Durham Street Bridge,” said Adam Stanley, Director of Transportation & Environmental Services. “These alternatives would need to be investigated further and added to the on-going Schedule ‘C’ Environmental Assessment, following the completion of the third-party review.” Triton Engineering has indicated the third-party review will be complete sometime in early March.

The Transportation and Environmental Services department will be seeking to implement two Alternate Truck Routes (ATRs), North and South bound, once agreements are reached with affected municipalities. The ATR’s will facilitate the continued movement of truck traffic during the bridge weight restriction period on the Durham Street Bridge. Advanced Warning signage for the ATR’s will be placed strategically ahead of the bridge to divert heavy truck traffic from passing over the bridge.

The weight restriction would be a 3-level load limit which differentiates various heavy truck types by the number of axels on the truck or trailers and permits a maximum vehicle weight. The recommended weight restrictions would apply to vehicles greater than 15, 25, and 30 tonnes, with corresponding axels.

The Durham Street Bridge in Walkerton, which spans the Saugeen River along Bruce Road 4, was constructed in 1937 and has served the community for 85 years.

Additional Project Information can be found on the Bruce County Website at www.brucecounty.on.ca/WalkertonBridge.