| Nov 22, 2007

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Feature Article - November 22, 2007

Addington Highlands Council - Nov. 19by Jule Koch Brison

AH bites the bullet – votes to build new Hartsmere bridge

Since receiving the bad news recently that not just one, but two of its bridges need immediate repairs, Addington Highlands has been considering its options.

The Flinton bridge was built in 1935 and the Hartsmere bridge in 1932. They have both been deemed unsafe and the Flinton bridge has been closed. However, there is an alternate route for the Flinton bridge, so repairing the Hartsmere bridge has higher priority.


At Monday night’s council meeting, Roads Supervisor Royce Rosenblath reported that the cost of replacing the Hartsmere bridge alone has been estimated at between $200,000 and $250,000 (the township’s entire roads maintenance budget in 2007 was around $900,000).

The township has been planning to put a 5-tonne limit on the Hartsmere bridge, but Rosenblath pointed out that the township would then not be able to perform winter maintenance on the road – “An empty sand truck weighs more than 5 tonnes,” he said.

Rosenblath described one alternative, which is to lay steel I-beams across the top of the bridge and cover them with wooden decking. He said that could cost $40,000, unless the township was able to get some used steel that he had heard about. “But that would be a band-aid solution,” he said. In order to lay the beams, the bridge would have to be closed for 2 –3 days, so the township would still have to build a detour whether council chose to repair the bridge or build a new one. Rosenblath pointed out that it would be easy to build a detour right now, as the creek is lower than he’s ever seen. Also, if the bridge were temporarily patched up there would still have to be a load limit on it, though trucks would be able to get over for winter maintenance.

Deputy Mayor Helen Yanch asked if the guardrails would still be adequate since the beams would raise the level of the bridge, and Rosenblath replied that they would have to be replaced as well.

Reeve Henry Hogg said he couldn’t see spending almost one quarter of the estimated cost of a new bridge on a stop-gap solution. He said he had been enquiring about a new round of funding for municipalities, COMRIF 4, but had been unable to find out anything about it. In any case, he said, COMRIF 4 would take time, so it wouldn’t help with the Hartsmere bridge, though maybe the township might be able to get some funding for the Flinton bridge.

Council voted unanimously to proceed immediately with building a new Hartsmere bridge.

Council also discussed whether to tender the project or hire the same equipment that is currently repairing the Hartsmere Road. All members of council agreed that there is no time to tender the project, and since the Hartsmere Road tenders are recent, the township probably would not get better prices. They voted to proceed with the quotes they already have.

KALADAR WASTE RECYCLING: Council received a quote from Fraser Haulage of $150/ton for pick up and disposal of glass. Council has also been debating whether to enter into a three-year contract with Fraser Haulage for recycling at a cost of $2080/month. Reeve Hogg said that he had recently met with the reeve of Greater Madawaska, who said that changes to recycling regulations might be coming soon. Hogg said he wondered if the bins from Fraser Haulage would be of any use to the township then. Council decided to invite Mr. Fraser to attend a Waste Management Committee meeting on December 3.

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