Here’s our payoff for tax dollars and traffic congestion

Traffic is back to normal and work on the Fifth Street Bridge project is nearly complete.

WORK COMPLETED ON the Fifth Street Bridge in Courtenay may not be that noticeable to passersby

WORK COMPLETED ON the Fifth Street Bridge in Courtenay may not be that noticeable to passersby

Now that traffic is back to normal and work on the Fifth Street Bridge structural rehabilitation project is nearly complete, Courtenay council received an update on the work that was done and why it was important.

Craig Armstrong, City project engineer, said that while the structural work was important to the longevity of the bridge, it’s not easily visible to the public during his report to council at Tuesday’s meeting.

“I know, with all the (traffic) delays, it’s not readily apparent what the work having been completed is, and at the end of the day, when you drive across the bridge you won’t notice a change in the physical appearance of the bridge itself,” Armstrong said, later adding the work was done at just the right time.

“The comment I received a lot from both contractor and consultant was that we’re doing this at the right time. We’ve got it early enough that there wasn’t significant structural degradation to bridge itself.”

Work below the bridge deck included repairing degraded coating and corrosion of connections. He noted the contractor — Mainroad South Island Contracting LP — sandblasted the connectors and recoated them to prevent further corrosion.

Armstrong also pointed out workers sandblasted from swing stages completely enclosed in tarps to prevent debris from falling into the Courtenay River.

The bridge deck was sandblasted to clean out the dirt and grime around the aggregate because it was too smooth and wasn’t providing very much traction for vehicles any more.

The bridge joints, which were specially made for the Fifth Street Bridge and delayed the project slightly, were installed one side at a time in order to keep one lane open to traffic.

Also, the bridge deck was injected with epoxy — a filling substance — due to a separation between two layers of concrete on the deck.

“The second layer I think was poured in approximately 1983, and over time there’s a delamination that’s occurred between the top layer of concrete and the bottom layer,” explained Armstrong. “When that happens it allows water to get in between the gaps, and when that happens during freeze thaw cycles, it can cause significant damage to the concrete.”

He noted the epoxy injections were an innovative and quiet method the contractor used, which allowed this work to be completed at night, avoiding further daytime traffic delays.

Armstrong noted there will be occasional single lane alternating traffic at night to finish sealing the deck and clean up the site, but major traffic delays are now complete.

The estimated total cost of the project, including engineering, traffic control and environmental consulting, will be about $400,000, according to Armstrong. He later told the Record the original $250,000 estimate was a construction only estimate from 2010.

Coun. Manno Theos thanked everyone involved in the project, noting he could see how important the structural improvements were.

“The structural enhancements — I can clearly see it’s going to add years of life and soundness to the bridge,” said Theos.

“Thanks to the public for their patience because it is a big challenge when you have the two bridges and one of them goes down for the repairs that are necessary, but it was well worth it.”

Mayor Larry Jangula added the next step will be to repaint the bridge, noting it was an election issue last fall.

Installation of the storm sewer mains on the Old Island Highway near the Lewis Centre are now complete as well, and no further traffic delays are expected, with the exception of road resurfacing and patching scheduled for the evening of Friday, Oct. 19.

The storm drain work cost about $390,000.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The 5th Street Bridge requires structural improvements, new coating to repair and prevent corrosion, and deck repairs. File photo
City of Courtenay awards contract for 5th Street Bridge project

The City of Courtenay has awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of… Continue reading

Pumpjacks pump crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., June 20, 2007.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Gas prices jump in the Valley – and experts predict prices to rise even more

“We still could be talking about record prices…”

NIC Practical Nursing instructor Barb McPherson (right) is pictured with student Rebecca Wood in 2018 in NIC’s SIM lab. NIC photo
Learn about Practical Nursing opportunities for Island students

Students interested in exploring a future in health care are invited to… Continue reading

The Comox Valley Cycling Coalition is hoping to see more bike lines in the Cumberland area. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cycling coalition wants better bike links for Cumberland

Group says members want more connections with Comox Valley

The Courtenay Legion has identified 16 homeless veterans living in the Comox Valley. File photo
Courtenay Legion unites with Qualicum to help homeless veterans

Last year’s Point-in-Time (PIT) homeless count conducted in the Comox Valley identified… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Most Read