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Durham Regional Council approves Beaver River bridge replacement


NORTH DURHAM: At their meeting, on May 29th, Durham Regional Council unanimously approved a comprehensive plan for the replacement of the Beaver River bridge.

This decision follows the closure of the bridge, located on Regional Road 15, just west of Highway 12, by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), on November 16th, 2023. The subsequent transfer of ownership, from the province to the Regional Municipality of Durham, was controversial.

The bridge, a critical infrastructure component, has been the subject of extensive discussions and planning since its closure. The MTO's decision, to transfer the bridge ownership before designing and constructing a replacement, sparked disagreement from Regional staff, who argued the responsibility should not fall on the municipality without prior arrangements.

In response to the bridge's closure and the urgent need for replacement, the Council authorized Regional staff to proceed with both a temporary and permanent bridge solution. The plan includes: designing, tendering, and constructing a temporary bridge to ensure continued connectivity, followed by the permanent replacement. All project costs, estimated at $16.6 million, will be reimbursed by the MTO.

A significant step in the plan involves a sole-source agreement, with Algonquin Bridge, for the supply and rental of a temporary bridge, expected to be in place for approximately 2.5 years, at an estimated cost of $950,000. The existing bridge will be demolished and a new temporary structure will be installed, to maintain traffic flow during the construction of the permanent bridge.

Regional Council declared the bridge closure an emergency, to expedite the process and minimize delays. Construction of the temporary bridge is slated to begin this summer and be completed by early autumn. The permanent bridge project is expected to commence in the spring of 2026 and be completed by summer 2027.

This proactive approach aims to address the immediate infrastructure needs, while ensuring long-term stability and connectivity for the Township of Brock and surrounding areas.

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