The bridge is listed in the Ontario Heritage Bridge Program. This heritage property involves sensitive environmental issues including fisheries and wildlife. The Six National land claims also make this a high profile project.
A number of bridge deficiencies were found requiring action. The condition included structural deficiencies, structural deterioration, insufficient roadside safety, foundation problems and inadequate hydraulics. Short-term repairs to the bridge can be completed without significant adverse impacts to the existing natural habitat. Implementation of appropriate mitigation measures will ensure that the natural habitat requiring protection will not be adversely impacted. Monitoring will be carried out to ensure the compliance with environmental mitigation measures.
The Environmental Assessment Study for the longer term rehabilitation and replacement strategy for this heritage structure involved an extensive public and stakeholder consultation process. We had a distinct role in environmental planning by ensuring the requirements set forth for environmental assessment were carried out in a complete and comprehensive manner. Our team carried out public and agency consultation and oversaw key environmental regulatory compliance.
We conducted a Context Sensitive Design Workshop in Caledonia to involve stakeholders and representatives from the public to participate in the bridge design to address various environmental aspects of the project.
Consultation with the major stakeholder, Haldimand County, included a number of meetings and presentations with elected officials including the mayor, County Council and Committees such as the South Grand River Advisory Board, the Engineering and Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services. The Haldimand County Council also passed resolutions on their opinion of the project, including indicating their preference of the provision of a third lane on a proposed replacement structure. The Council agreed to share the cost of this addition with the Ministry of Transportation.
The proposed work includes a replacement structure with the following characteristics:
- A new five span structural arch bridge, 40 m each span, in place of the existing Argyle Street South Bridge, at more or less the same alignment and location. Substructures will include four in-water piers, and abutments on the banks
- The bridge will be 16.9 5 m wide between the arches, with two 3.5 m travel lanes and one 3.25 m turning lane, two 1 m shoulders, and 2 m wide sidewalks on both sides, separated by pedestrian railing with the vehicular traffic. Scenic lookouts will be provided at all pier locations by slight widening of the deck at these locations.
- Deep foundation will be used to carry the bridge loading to deeper and more competent rock stratum below the river bed
- The profile of the bridge will be raised by 1.5 m at the centre span, and a smooth curve will be incorporated from the junction of the approach road appropriate to the design speed of the Argyle Street.
- Miscellaneous works will include minor drainage improvement and bridge illuminations
Traffic will be restricted to a single lane, southbound, on the bridge for both of the two years of construction period, as well as a single pedestrian walkway across the river, by staged construction of the replacement bridge. Northbound vehicles will be detoured to use the Highway 6 Caledonia By-pass. An innovative “opticom” system will be used to assist EMS vehicles to cross the river to minimize disruption to response time. All environmental impacts have been identified and mitigated measures have been derived.