Jeff Green | Aug 18, 2005
Feature Article - August 18, 2005
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Feature ArticleAugust 18, 2005
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Selling the Mississippi Bridge expansion to COMRIF
by Jeff Green
The township of North Frontenac will submit the same project for approval in round 2 of the Canada Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (COMRIF) that was rejected in round 1.
But they are struggling to figure out how to make the project more palatable to bureaucrats administering the funds. “The problem is that we have kept the bridge in good condition,” worries Councillor Dave Smith.
Smith might be right. When the COMRIF people looked at bridges, they came up with a grading system to determine which bridges needed to be repaired. Bridges that came in with a score of 60 and under were considered for funding. The Mississippi bridge scored an 84.
“We need to promote the health and safety aspect of the bridge,” said Mayor Ron Maguire when the issue was discussed last week with Guy Laporte of Tottenham Sims Hubicki, who prepared the application for the township in round 1 and will be resubmitting for round 2 in a month or so. “The issue for us is that it is unsafe for there to be a one lane bridge on one of our major arterial roads.
“When that bridge was last repaired rebuilt by the Ministry of Transportation in 1983, going to two lanes was considered, but it was rejected, and a rebuild of the one lane bridge was done,” Laporte said to Council.
“There has been a big change in the kinds of vehicles using the bridge in the past 22 years. There is more traffic now, and transport trucks are common,” Councillor Betty Hunter said.
Public Works Manager John Ibey said that he could do a traffic count on the bridge, and could include the number of double axle vehicles in the count, to go along with the application. It was also suggested that a letter be sought from the OPP in the area, stating that the bridge poses a potential danger to public safety.