CORNWALL – In postponing a proposed bridge project for Martintown due to budget constraints, SDG Counties has been able to move up another smaller bridge project to this year’s construction window.
Last month, SDG Counties Council approved a contract for the South Nation River bridge rehabilitation on County Road 43 in Chesterville. That contract was over-budget, which required postponing the project in Martintown and left some unallocated money in the budget for 2023.
In its place, the Hoople Creek Bridge on County Road 14, just north of the Highway 401 westbound interchange will be rehabbed this year.
Council approved at $768,000 bid from Dalcon Constructors Ltd. at its May 15 meeting. The company was the lowest of four bidders to bid on the project.
Safety Zone in Chesterville
In preparation for the closure of the CR43 bridge across the South Nation River and significant detour through Chesterville, SDG Council approved establishing a Community Safety Zone and multiple speed limit reductions through and around Chesterville.
CR7 through Chesterville will be reduced to 40km/h. The northern approach of CR7 from CR43 into Chesterville will be reduced from 80 km/h to 60 km/h.
CR37 from the Arena through to downtown Chesterville is also included in the Community Safety Zone. In a CSZ, fines for speeding are doubled. The zone is in effect 24/7 until the construction project is completed this fall.
The South Nation River bridge will be completely closed to traffic for the construction season for rehabilitation. Due to the initial design of the bridge, a staged construction (one lane signaled) over two years was deemed an undesirable option, prompting the closure.
Sun Glare Study results
A study completed this spring of the intersection of County Roads 43 and 7 south of Chesterville found evidence that sun glare may have contributed to six of the last 10 collisions at the high-incident intersection.
Councillor Theresa Bergeron (North Dundas) disputed the results suggesting that distracted driving was the true cause of those other six incidents.
Findings from Parsons, the engineering company that undertook the study, said that there was a “potential correlation between the sun angle and collision occurrence.”
SDG Counties’ transportation department is looking at possible emerging technologies to provide additional warning to drivers in that area. A plan to put additional signage in place for the collision-prone intersection was approved earlier this year.
Long term solutions for the intersection include converting to a four-way stop, installing traffic signals, or constructing a roundabout. Those solutions all have significant costs associated with it.
Oak Valley Bridge planning
Planning is underway to rehabilitate the Oak Valley Bridge on County Road 5 west of Winchester Springs.
This year, SDG Counties is undertaking the design of the project and will be talking to area residents about a potential full closure of the bridge when the project begins.
The bridge was built in 1984 and according to the Counties lacks curbs, the existing traffic barrier does not conform to current crash standards, the expansion joints have failed and salt brine is causing deterioration to the ends of the pre-cast I-beams underneath.
While staged construction (one lane closed, signal controlled) keeps traffic flowing across the bridge, closing the bridge entirely lowers the cost of the project. CR5 has low traffic counts (400 vehicles per day.) A staged construction plan would interfere with any oversized farm machinery that use the road. No detour route has been planned and consultation has not yet begun.
Tourism Grants approved
The entire $40,000 budget for this year’s Tourism Grants from SDG Counties were awarded this month for the 2023 tourism season. Eleven groups and organizations will split the $40,000 pot, including one Cornwall-based group. No South Dundas event or organization received funds. A list of the 25 applicants to the fund was unavailable.
Groups receiving funding include: St. Lawrence Valley Agricultural Society – $3,900; Priest’s Mill Arts Centre – $1,900; Art on the Waterfront – $2,350; Raisin Region Conservation Authority – $4,750; Eastern Ontario Maple Syrup Producers – $2,350; Kenyon Agricultural Society – $1,000; Downtown Winchester Committee – $4,750; Friends of the Summerstown Trails Inc. – $4,750; Mountain Township Agricultural Society – $4,750; Glengarry Mental Health Initiative – $4,750; and The Hub for Beyond 21 Foundation – $4,750.
A committee of Warden Tony Fraser, Tourism Coordinator Karina Belanger, and Planner Peter Young reviewed and approved the submissions advanced for Council approval.
This article was originally written for the Morrisburg Leader.