SCUGOG: Council has endorsed a recommendation from Township staff to rehabilitate the Seagrave bridge, and to repair a bridge on Scugog Line 8, to accommodate pedestrian and limited vehicle traffic.
At a meeting on Monday, September 18th, Councillors saw a report from Director of Community Services Carol Coleman, which included the preferred solutions for the two bridges.
According to Ms. Coleman’s report, it will cost around $710,000 to rehabilitate the Seagrave bridge and $565,000 for work on the Line 8 bridge.
These two bridges were previously discussed at a meeting in April. At that time, it was staff’s recommendation the Seagrave bridge be replaced with a new two lane bridge and the Line 8 bridge be removed. However, at that time, following comments from residents and councillors, the decision on what to do with the bridges was deferred and the report was sent back to staff to investigate further. The replacement of the Seagrave Bridge was estimated to cost $1.89 million and the removal of the Line 8 bridge was estimated to cost $185,000.
Following that meeting, the Township conducted a Stage 1 Archaeological Assessment, and a Cultural Heritage Impact Assessment on the two bridges.
“A Stage 1 Archaeological Assessment (AA) background study for the Seagrave Bridge and Bridge No. 9 EA has determined that the potential for the recovery of both First Nation and Euro-Canadian archaeological resources within parts of each of the study areas is high. Overall, as a result of the existing bridge construction and road grading, some portions of the study area have been previously disturbed and archaeological potential has been removed,” the report read.
To help fund the Seagrave bridge project, the Township plans to make an application to the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund top up component.
“This is a good news story,” said Ward 5 Councillor Jennifer Back. “This is an $800,000 savings, with both of these bridges combined to get similar work done, but [work that is] more favourable to our residents. If we do get that grant, it’s a savings of $1,439,000, which for a small municipality is huge.”
According to the report, the preferred solutions for each bridge “maintains the existing configuration of the existing bridge.” Once work begins on the Seagrave bridge, it is estimated the construction will take 12 weeks to complete.
“If funding isn’t received, what is the lifespan of that bridge in Seagrave?” Ward 4 Councillor Wilma Wotten asked.
Ms. Coleman said it is “hard to predict” how long the bridge will last.
“We’ve done some emergency repairs the last couple years on it,” she said. “We do bridge inspections every two years, and it was just inspected earlier this year, and we also need to do a structural analysis of it to confirm that the the load level is still suitable for it. We have bi-annual inspections of it, and other tests to make sure it is safe, but I can’t tell you exactly how long it will last.”