Causeway work falls behind schedule

Duane Hicks

Work on the deck of the Noden Causeway will take longer than expected after the Ministry of Transportation reported the bridge rehabilitation work, scheduled to be complete by mid-October, is behind schedule.
“The construction work on the deck of the west low level structure is currently behind schedule, largely due to unanticipated challenges in placing the new deck on the existing piers,” MTO contracts manager Dave McColl said in an e-mail.
“The contractor will most likely only complete the Stage 1 work this fall and then prepare the structure for normal two-lane, two-way traffic operation,” he noted.
“This will ensure safety to motorists over the winter season.
“The contractor will return next spring to continue with the remainder of the work,” McColl added.
The completion date for the west low level structure deck work originally was to be Oct. 15.
The contractor, Concreate USL Ltd. of Bolton, Ont., will work as long into the fall as it can before the onset of winter conditions and return as early as the weather will allow in 2011 to continue with the work, McColl said.
Meanwhile, pile repair work continues on the causeway’s high level structure, which involves above-water and underwater rehabilitation work on 856 piles.
The work, which is being done by George Armstrong Co. Ltd. of Fort Frances, is planned to extend over a three-year period.
The plan is to complete work on 56 of the piles this year before shutting down for the winter.
The contractor will return next year to work on the next 400 piles, then complete the remaining 400 piles in 2012, McColl noted.
In other news, highway construction work is being carried out on Highway 11 from 16 km west of Atikokan westerly for 23 km, and also on Highway 622 from Atikokan northerly for eight km.
This work, being done by Miller Northwest Ltd. of Dryden, consists of full depth pulverizing of the existing asphalt and underlying granular material, placement of new granular material, and then resurfacing with asphalt.
The construction contract also includes ditching work and the replacement of existing culverts.
This work is proceeding well and is expected to be completed by mid-October, McColl said.
Looking ahead to next year, McColl reported a $1.8-million structural coating contract has been awarded to Clara Industrial Services for work at the Bear Passage bridge, eight km east of the Highway 502 junction.
Much of the work will be done in 2011, with completion expected in August.
Additional bridge and pavement projects on Highway 11 will be planned, scheduled, and advertised in accordance with rehabilitation needs and available funding.