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Monday, April 22, 2019

Inspection for Bridge in Walkerton

Bruce County | by John Divinski  

County says bridge is safe, but precautionary inspection comes as report explains similar style bridge collapsed in Quebec.

Bruce County is going to have a close look at the Durham Street East Bridge in Walkerton.

A county report suggests a similar bridge design in other parts of Canada has proven to be problematic.

Director of Transportation and Environmental Services Miguel Pelletier says the bridge is safe, otherwise it would have been closed down immediately.

However, they hope to have a closer look at the span over the Saugeen River in Walkerton, this week.

Pelletier says they'll be doing additional testing that you can't get from a visual inspection.

He says they'll be testing "the concrete inside (the bridge) and the steel inside so you can have a better look at what's going on."

A county committee approved the $25,000 expense at their April 18th meeting.

The bridge can be classed as a drop-in span or half-joint style bridge, the design of which has caused problems elsewhere.

He refers to an overpass in Laval, Quebec that collapsed in 2006, killing 5 people, however, that bridge had a far longer span than the one in Walkerton.

Similar type bridges in South Huron and in Kitchener had similar design features and were either repaired or torn down.

Pelletier says the Durham Street East Bridge in Walkerton is 83 years old and the current bridge code requires a service life of 75 years.

He says if their report shows the bridge joints are in unsatisfactory condition, they'll try solutions to keep the bridge open temporarily until a replacement bridge could be built.

Bottom line right now though, the bridge is safe.

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