Report outlines $6 million tab for repairs and replacement of bridges and culverts

Brock Township is facing a projected $6 million price tag for maintaining and replacing culverts and bridges.

That figure is cited in a structure inspections summary report received by members of council at Monday’s (March 12) meeting of the public works committee.

While $6 million may seem like a lot, Works Director Nick Colucci said that it’s quite an improvement from when he started with the municipality.

“It was $12 or $13 million six or seven years ago,” he told members of council.

Colucci explained that a change in consulting firms shifted the focus of the report from outright replacement of bridges and culverts to maintenance solutions that would prolong the life of each structure.

In addition to the Gibbs bridge on Concession 1 Thorah that is slated for replacement this July (at a cost of $1.2 million), only two other bridges in the municipality need to be replaced – one on Concession 11 Thorah that has been deferred in budget talks ($702,000) and another on Cameron Sideroad ($1.1 million) that is currently closed to traffic.

There are only a handful of households in the area surrounding those two bridges, Colucci told members of council.

The bridge on Concession 11 currently has load limits in effect, as does the Gibbs bridge.

The report suggests that six bridges require further investigation due to deteriorating conditions, including a pair that are marked as “urgent.”

The maintenance projects identified could be completed by Township staff or a hired contractor, Colucci told members of council.

“Some of this will have to be included in the budget because they’re substantial (projects),” he continued.

Staff will use the data in the report to compile a 20-year budget forecast and to prioritize future projects.

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