Work on overpass to begin next week

Duane Hicks

With upgrades to the overpass here about to get underway, the town is hopeful that traffic will be able to be maintained to one lane throughout the duration of the job–or that any possible total road closure will be brief.
In response to a question from Mayor Roy Avis about the possibility of the overpass being completely closed to traffic at any time during the course of the project, thus diverting the traffic flow toward the Point Park and the rail crossing which frequently is blocked by trains, Operation and Facilities manager Travis Rob said this might not have to happen.
There are three main pipe crossings that likely would require a full traffic shutdown over the overpass–two storms sewers that are large in diameter and very deep and a large watermain that crosses the roadway, he explained.
However, “the contractor does believe he’s got a plan in place where he can maintain one lane safely at all times and do all of that pipe work,” Rob noted.
“There may be the odd situation where they have to shut down for one or two hours, but he is working hard to come up with a place where they can maintain one-lane access at all times,” he added.
If a shutdown has to happen, the tender for the overpass rehabilitation stipulates there only can be a maximum of one 12-hour shutdown every two weeks.
As well, that shutdown only can happen on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday–not on a weekend when tourist and local cabin owner traffic will be greater.
Temporary traffic controls will be in place for the duration of the overpass rehabilitation project, with traffic on one side of the overpass and construction happening on the other side.
As work progresses, the traffic lane will switch to the other side.
Pedestrian access will be maintained throughout the duration of the project.
Makkinga Contracting and Equipment Rentals has begun preliminary work at the site, such as removing guardrails from the overpass, in preparation for the bridge subcontractor to arrive next week.
Makkinga also is setting up temporary waterlines this week, as well as completing miscellaneous hydrant and valve replacements.
The entire project will span from just south of Elizabeth Street over the overpass to Lake Road. It involves storm sewer and watermain replacement, as well as road surface reconstruction.
It is slated to be completed by Oct. 19.
The bulk of the work will be done this year, with a surface course of asphalt to be put down next June.
Meanwhile, over on Third Street East from Williams Avenue to Colonization Road East, Bay City Contractors has removed 2,313 metres of asphalt, 464 metres of curb and gutter, 699 sq. metres of sidewalk, and 160 sq. metres of concrete driveways.
They also have stripped and removed all of the boulevards along the entire road section, completed all of the surveying, and set up, chlorinated, and tested the temporary water lines.
They company has started working on the watermain, and soon will start taking out and replacing the sanitary and storm sewers.
This job is to be completed by the end of August.