A report heading to city councillors next week confirms the Walterdale bridge will now not be open to traffic until mid-2017. It was supposed to be in operation later this year. It’s already one year over due. However, the original delay over a year ago because of the late fabrication and delivery of the steel, is still having an effect on the opening of the bridge.
“I think it contributes, absolutely,” said infrastructure GM Adam Laughlin with the city. “And I think there’s probably other things that contribute to that in terms of weather, working in the river, many elements.”
“The ability to have traffic crossing it by the end of this year, will likely not be there because of the challenges of paving in a condition that does not allow us to pave.”
Penalties are in the contract, saving tax payers money. “There’s two of them,” Laughlin said. “There’s the original completion date which is the number of days they bid on how long it would take to complete the job,” which is costing the contractor $10,000 a day. “And then also the milestone dates that by not having the bridge open to traffic there’s damages that will be applied.” That’s $17,000 a day, because vehicles were supposed to be able run on it by then.
The old Walterdale bridge will still be used through the fall, winter and spring, which takes some of the pressure off. Laughlin said it’s still in good shape and safe for traffic. “That is monitored on a regular basis. The thing that I can recall is that there was a vehicle strike on one of the members in the spring of this year. For something like that we had to go in and repair it but there wasn’t any planned renewal on that bridge. It’s in good shape for the next season.”
A report two weeks ago identified that the bridge was late, into next year, however it concentrated on the pedestrian walkway, and the removal of the old bridge.