County seeks funds to replace downtown Elora bridge

Wellington County is hoping to receive federal and provincial funding for the proposed replacement of the Badley Bridge in downtown Elora in 2016.

On Oct. 29, county engineer Gordon Ough explained in a written report to county council that the low tender for the replacement of the two sidewalks on the bridge last April came in at more than double the approved budget.

“As such, it was determined to complete repairs necessary to open the sidewalks to the public and immediately commence work on the replacement of the bridge,” Ough stated. The 2015 bridge sidewalk project was considered complete and closed for accounting purposes, effective July 11.

Ough reported two engineering firms are assisting the county with the replacement of the bridge. One firm is focusing on the Environmental Assessment (EA) that is a mandatory requirement of all structures over 40 years of age, and the other is focusing on the design of the new bridge in concert with the EA.

The county has made an application to the Small Communities Fund to receive funding to assist with the costs of the replacement of the bridge.

Ough noted all costs associated with the bridge incurred after July 11 are being tracked and accounted for under the “bridge replacement” project.

However, he pointed out, the project was not included in the 2015 capital roads budget, but there is a proposed project in the 2016 budget, complete with funding for the EA and design work.

Council endorsed the roads committee’s approval of a staff recommendation that costs of the EA and design incurred in 2015 be paid for through capital reserve and the amount borrowed from the capital reserve be paid back in 2016 once the budget is approved.

Estimated costs to be incurred in 2015 are in the $100,000 range.