Wellington County to seek cash for bridge

The Princess Elizabeth bridge on County Road 12 has had a tough time of it over the past several years, so county council is seeking a grant help to rebuild it this year.
When county council considered which project it would seek provincial cash grants for, councillor Chris White suggested that all municipalities have projects on hand that are “construction ready.”
White, the chairman of the Rural Ontario Municipal Association, said that there will be a continuing number of grant programs announced over the next few years.
Like the Municipal Infrastructure Investment Initiative that is currently available, they will likely be announced and have quick deadlines for applications. The MIII grant program had a deadline in February, and the grants are expected to be announced at the end of March.
The county decided to apply for the Princess Elizabeth bridge, known locally as the Macton bridge. It spans the Conestogo River, and is about 160 feet long. It was built in 1947.
Roads committee chairman Carl Hall said in an interview last week that the bridge suffered some damage a few years ago when a truck from Quebec travelled over it, and its weight was nearly three times the bridge’s limit.
Further, he said, a few years prior to that a wagon carrying large bales got stuck and bent some of the bridge’s structure before it was extricated.
Councillor Jean Innes wondered why the county was not using the grant opportunity to seek funds for the building of the expanded archives at the Wellington Coun­ty Museum. That could cost about $3-million.
Hall told her the county is allowed only one grant application through the MIII.
White said there will be other opportunities for grants, but the Macton bridge is ready for repairs. The county expects to spend about $1-million, including engineering costs, to replace the concrete deck slab, eliminate the expansion joints at the abutments, and other work. Four trusses will also be replaced in order to significantly increase the load limit, the overhead wind bracing will be replaced in order to significantly increase the load limit, and the overhead wind bracing will be replaced to increase the vertical clearance over the road.
County Road 12 is expected to be closed in that area from June to September to complete the work.