Final preparations to close the 10th Street Bridge in Owen Sound are set for this evening, then the bridge will close by early tomorrow morning.
Owen Sound's Director of Public Works and Engineering Dennis Kefalas says various single lane closures will begin after 6 p.m. Wednesday evening on 10th Street and on the detour route -- 8th Street, 9th Street, 2nd Avenue West and 3rd Avenue East -- to allow for traffic-light timing optimizations and other final preparations for the bridge closure.
Kefalas says they should be complete sometime overnight Wednesday and barricades are expected to be in place to close off the bridge by early Thursday morning.
Driving around downtown Owen Sound is already a lot different now as most of the new lane designations and signage for the detour route are already in place.
Many signs dictating lane-turning allowances at intersections are now installed and in effect. Kefalas reminds drivers to be patient and observant of the changes.
"Slow down, and take the time to observe the signs and follow the signs," Kefalas says. "Make sure you're aware what signs are saying. They are clearly marked which lanes you should be in. Please observe and make sure as a driver you are following instructions."
An additional westbound lane on 9th Street and an additional eastbound lane on 8th Street have been created on the detour route -- which also relies heavily on 2nd Avenue West and 3rd Avenue East to take traffic to and from 10th Street -- with the removal of parking spaces downtown.
Kefalas reminds there will be enforcement against those who park in new traffic lanes on the detour route during the bridge closure.
"What you're used to doing you no longer can do as those areas are now designated as traffic lanes," he explains.
When the 10th Street Bridge does close Thursday, it is not expected to re-open until December 2020.
According to a past Bayshore Broadcasting report, an estimated 20,000 vehicles cross the 10th Street Bridge daily. It serves as the primary link between Highway 6 and Highway 21.
The $8.68-million project must be complete by March 2021 for the city to maintain eligibility for a $3-million Connecting Links grant from the province.
Editor's note: This story was updated from an earlier version to remove information about a change to stop signs at intersection at 9th Street and 1st Avenue West, as city has advised it has been restored to a four-way stop.