The 10th Street Bridge replacement project is moving ahead.
Owen Sound City Council approved a staff recommendation at last night's meeting to proceed with the construction of a $7.5-million, five-lane bridge similar to the current configuration on 10th Street.
Owen Sound Director of Public Works and Engineering Dennis Kefalas says the target is to start construction in October 2019, resulting in the bridge being completely closed off to traffic for a period of 12-14 months.
"Hopefully the bridge will be opened up and ready to go before Christmas 2020," Kefalas says.
Coun. Peter Lemon was the only one who voted against the plan, noting he could not support a bridge replacement that is essentially the status quo.
The city is working to complete the bridge ahead of a March 31, 2021 deadline tied to a $3-million grant for the project through the province's Connecting Links program.
The approval came after council reviewed a staff report on the option making the northern-most lane on the 10th Street Bridge an alternating one-way street between 1st Avenue West and 1st Avenue East, for use as a westbound lane during the a.m. hours and as an eastbound lane during the p.m. hours.
City staff recommended not adopting the fifth-lane, alternating one-way traffic option and council accepted the direction in approving the bridge replacement plan.
Kefalas says the alternating one-way lane may have provided some traffic relief to those travelling between the northeast and northwest sides of the city, but would have created even more congestion at 10th Street and 2nd Avenue West.
Cost considerations were also a factor in not recommending it, Kefalas adds.
"It would be around $1.2-million to implement that alternative," he says.
With council's endorsement, Kefalas says the bridge replacement project will undergo detailed design next before heading to tender.