Noise, delays expected during work on Fifth Street Bridge in Courtenay

The Fifth Street Bridge will soon get some necessary structural work.

The Fifth Street Bridge will soon get some necessary structural work.

Starting on July 30, contractors will begin what is estimated to be a nine-week project to do both repairs and preventative maintenance on the bridge. The construction will mean periodic delays and single-lane traffic in mid-August for commuters crossing the bridge.

Kevin Lagan, the City of Courtenay’s director of operational services, says the work is necessary to maximize the bridge’s life expectancy.

“This maintenance work is required to maintain the structural integrity of the Fifth Street Bridge,” noted Lagan. “We never like to inconvenience the traveling public, but in this case it’s something that can’t be avoided.”

Mainroad South Island Contracting has been awarded the contract for the project.

As the first phase of work will take place on the underside of the bridge, serious traffic impacts are not expected until the middle of August, when work on the bridge deck will begin. The deck work is expected to take approximately three weeks.

The work will also be scheduled between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day with efforts made to avoid peak volume traffic. The City is avoiding night-time construction in consideration of nearby residents.

“Some of the work required on the bridge will be quite noisy,” stated Lagan. “Working at night would be unfair to those who live around the bridge area.”

Crews will replace deck expansion joints and applying a corrosion resistant coating to the underside of the bridge. The project will also replace damaged concrete, increase the skid resistance by roughening the existing surface, and seal the bridge deck.  Contractors will construct an access platform underneath the bridge to allow them to complete the work.

While the Fifth Street Bridge is in need of a new paint job, this will not be part of the current maintenance and repairs. The complete recoating of the bridge is on hold pending the results of a grant application submitted to the provincial government.

The City is working with McElhanney Engineering and the contractor to develop a traffic management plan to minimize the disruption to the public during the project. The plan will also address the needs of pedestrians and cyclists.

To avoid delays, motorists are advised to use the 17th Street Bridge whenever possible during the deck-work phase of the project.

For more information, call the City of Courtenay engineering division at 250-334-4441 or e-mail engineering@courtenay.ca.

— City of Courtenay

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