Town councillors concerned over bridge and culvert construction

ERIN – Town councillors are concerned about the future reconstruction of a bridge and culvert south of Orton.

The culvert and bridge, known as “culvert 2053” and “bridge five” need replacement, said town finance director Wendy Parr at a May 9 council meeting.

Consultant R. J. Burnside and Associates Limited reviewed six bids ranging between $1.14 and $6.54 million. The consultant recommended Essex-based South Shore Contracting, the lowest of the bids.

South Shore’s $1.14-million bid (before tax) for the projects fits the town’s budget, Parr said.

Replacing both structures at once will have significant cost savings, she told council.

Construction is expected to begin in the middle of June, and could be completed by mid-October.

The condition of the structures is around half of what it should be, Parr told council, meaning they’re “in severe need of replacement.”

Councillor Jamie Cheyne questioned whether construction would turn into “another mess” like Sideroad 17.

He was referring to an over-budget project in Erin last year, that started as a culvert replacement before turning into a $2.12-million contract for a new bridge.

Parr tried to reassure Cheyne there won’t be any changes, and said a $50,000 contingency should cover any surprises.

“I just hope this culvert stays a culvert,” Cheyne said.

Council approved the staff recommendation to award the work to South Shore with a total project cost of $1.2 million, including the $50,000 contingency.