The 5th Street Bridge Rehabilitation Project came to $6.99 million. File photo

The 5th Street Bridge Rehabilitation Project came to $6.99 million. File photo

Bridge project in Courtenay exceeded budget, timeline

Proposed costs had been a little more than $6.5 million, but the final tally to rehabilitate the 5th Street Bridge was $6.99 million.

Constructed in 1960, the 72‐metre steel truss bridge has two vehicle lanes and 1.5 metre sidewalks on both sides.

In a July 25 presentation to Courtenay council, engineering technologist Adam Pitcher said single lane alternating extended four months due to problems with the scope of the project, which included removing and installing a deck overlay, repairing 16 beam ends, and installing a cathodic protection system. The project began as scheduled April 15, 2021, but contractor Park Derochie encountered challenges that caused significant delays. Single lane alternating traffic was slated to end Oct. 15 but carried on until Feb. 17 of this year.

“Contractor error led to a substantial amount of necessary rework,” a staff report states.

The contractor compensated the city $337,000 for schedule overruns.

Staff said the rehabilitation provides another 20 years before further refurbishment is required.

“This is a conservative estimate and does not mean that the bridge will have reached the end of its intended lifespan in 20 years,” the report states.

Police report

Compared to last April and May, police received 95 fewer calls for service in Courtenay.

There were 60 fewer traffic violations, 11 fewer break and enters, 17 fewer thefts from vehicles and nine fewer domestic files in those months. There were the same number of drug trafficking files.

“We took a significant player off the streets recently, seizing a large cache of drugs and weapons,” Comox Valley RCMP Insp. Mike Kurvers said in a quarterly report to council. “That was a three-month project that worked out well for us.”

There was one more sexual assault file in April and May.

Curbside collection

Staff from Courtenay and Comox selected Emterra Environmental for automated curbside collection for garbage, recycling and organics. The city will transition from weekly to biweekly garbage collection starting January 2024.

At an upcoming meeting, staff will report about a plan to transition from unlimited curbside yard waste to co-mingled curbside organics, limited to 360L per week, per residential unit.

Council also approved a motion from Wendy Morin for staff to report about the impact of discontinuing solid waste collection services on MU-4 zones.

“It’s unique zoning,” she said.

Air quality/wood smoke

Council directed staff to revise applicable bylaws to regulate excessive wood smoke that is causing a nuisance.

Staff will also:

*Develop a metric to identify excessive wood smoke;

*Develop a public education campaign to communicate bylaw expectations and to encourage residents to reduce use of wood burning appliances;

*Design a network of PM2.5 (fine particulate matter) air monitoring devices that report real time PM2.5 concentrations on a map available to the public.

*Co-ordinate with neighboring governments to ensure new monitoring devices are part of a regional PM2.5 network.

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