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Emergency repairs to damaged bridge 42 per cent over budget

A semi-tractor trailer rammed into the century-old steel truss bridge on Blackbridge Road last November
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A pair of young kayakers navigate the Speed River under the Black Bridge in Hespeler

The cost to repair damage caused by a semi-tractor trailer that rammed into the century-old steel truss bridge on Blackbridge Road last November has exceeded budget estimates by 42 per cent with no firm assurance the city will be able to recover costs from the driver's insurer.

Council agreed to a $130,000 budget for the emergency repair earlier this year, but due to increased costs attributed to "substantial inflationary increases seen in material prices," the only bid that came in for the work was $30,000 over budget.

The city has added $25,000 in for contingency, putting the project at an estimated $55,000 over budget.

The city says its risk and compliance staff have initiated the process to recover all eligible costs form the party responsible for the collision.

All noneligible costs will require funding from the Rate Stabilization Reserve.

Staff is asking council to award the tender for the project to a Mississauga company, the lone bidder for the project.

The timeline for tendering had been extended to three weeks to try to improve interest among bidders, but potential bidders indicated that other ongoing work and availability did not permit them to bid.

The repairs include removal and replacement of damaged members of the transverse truss at the west portal frame, heat straightening of the south diagonal truss member of the west portal frame, and installation of a temporary bracing system in order to carry out the work.

The accident happened when the eastbound vehicle, which exceeded the load and height restrictions for the bridge, hit the structure and became stuck on the west side of the bridge.

The heritage bridge will eventually accommodate a multi-use trail when the city realigns Blackbridge Road and builds a new bridge starting next year.

Public engagement in planning for that work is underway now.