Council closes issue on Baker Bridge
By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily
The good news is the City will be saving $50,000 in taxpayer’s money over the construction of the Baker Street Bridge, the bad news is the bridge will be closed entirely for the duration of the construction — around two months.
The contractor, Galena Contractors Ltd., recommended council approve closure of the bridge to reduce construction time and would reduce project costs by approximately $50,000.
The money would be saved by not requiring as much traffic control and management, as the area might have to periodically be closed to complete the work.
However, Mayor John Dooley expressed concern with the limited lead time given to the area’s businesses affected by the closure.
“We’ve dropped the ball with informing businesses in that area about the bridge closure,” he said.
The original tender for the bridge replacement project was for $550,000, which included maintaining a single lane access to lower Baker Street through a bypass bridge and using traffic control.
The 18-metre, one lane bypass bridge would be rated for off-highway traffic, capable of supporting even the heaviest emergency vehicles and fire trucks.
The bridge will be in place whether Baker Street would stay open or not.
Night time closures are planned, with the site to be secured each evening after 8 p.m. and would not open until 7 a.m. the following morning.
The Baker’s dozen
Work is scheduled to begin “in earnest” this week and two-way traffic could be restored by the end of October.
Surface work is scheduled for late October, early November with the completion being weather dependent. An asphalt cold mix would be used as a temporary surface if the weather becomes too cold.
The new structure is a concrete box culvert with an open floor, replacing the existing rotting wood structure. The sides of the structure tie into the existing concrete flume downstream of the bridge while the upstream side is a rectangular concrete opening protected with rip-rap.
According to a City report, there will be some budget for work associated with the pathways in the area, relating to the Active Transportation Plan and connected to the Chamber of Commerce’s CP Rail Station.
Discussions are still continuing with the Ministry of Transportation on allowing the continuation of the pathway to Cottonwood Falls (to be covered 50 per cent by a Local Motion Grant). As well, the City’s Cultural Development Commission is developing an artistic component for the area.
Source: City of Nelson