KAMLOOPS — In an effort to save time, money and stress on area businesses and residents, bridge repairs will just have to wait another year.
Council agreed with the staff suggestion a full overhaul of the Overlanders Bridge deck should be put off until 2015 so that proper research can go into the repairs needed for the west sidewalk and a more flexible timeline can be used in the tender process.
Streets and Capital Projects Manager Kristen Meersman says while temporary repairs will be needed to 'buy another year' deteriorating rebar in the corbel sidewalk supports, which are connected to the bridge decking and an imperative part of the structure, is causing concern for staff.
“Rebar is starting to deteriorate, it causes rust and then the concrete gets loose and pops off,” she says. “It is quite a concern.”
Staff wants to properly inspect the corbels now and set up a plan for whether repairs or full replacement will be most beneficial. Meersman says preliminary 'ballpark numbers' range from $1.5 million to shut down the sidewalk and move the railing over to $3.5 million to replace the entire sidewalk including supports.
The corbels have never been touched and while the bridge deck was replaced in the late 80s it is still well beyond the typical lifeline estimated by the Ministry of Transportation.
“We certainly pushed the limits on our second deck,” Meersman says, though she notes there is not an immediate safety concern.
While there is some concern over putting off the rehabilitation project, Meersman says the city has actually received a letter of support for the deferral from North Shore businesses that want a year off from seemingly ongoing construction that directly affects their business.
North Shore businesses and drivers have been affected by construction the last several years, with Leigh Road reconstruction in 2011, the closure of the Tranquille Overpass when it was hit in 2012 and then the Tranquille Road lights and multi-use path construction this past year.
Future projects could also affect traffic and bridge use. Landsdowne Street and 1 Avenue are slated for this year, Columbia Street for 2015 and work on Halston Avenue in 2016. Work on Tranquille Road (from 8 Street to 13 Street) is tentatively scheduled for 2016 as well.
“If we do postpone it we want to make it more comfortable for drivers over the next year,” Meersman adds.
That means using a hot mix of recycled asphalt to patch tire grooves and other problem areas. This will likely need to be done several times over the year but requires a much shorter timeframe. The hope is to mitigate disruption by doing the repairs overnight or on Sundays so there is less impact to traffic.
The estimated $25,000 needed to do these temporary repairs is already in the maintenance budget. Funds for repairs to the arterial roads leading up to the bridge are also covered under in the budget but rehabilitation of both the sidewalk and bridge deck will require a borrowing bylaw to be put in place. The bridge deck project is estimated at just over $6 million without the addition of the sidewalk.
Meersman hopes by taking time to get the full scope of the project in place, as well as the borrowing bylaw, the city will be able to get a better price when it goes to tender.
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