BAY ROBERTS, NL — Work should begin in early March to replace the aging Klondyke Bridge connecting Coley’s Point to Bay Roberts.
At Tuesday’s town council meeting, Trident Construction was awarded the $817,855 contract to replace the bridge. The total project cost of almost $902,104 requires the town to submit a revised capital investment plan to access additional Gas Tax funding.
Director of public works Sean Elms attended Tuesday’s meeting and told councillors the new bridge would accommodate larger tractor trailers. Coun. Dean Franey suggested this would be essential in order to provide those vehicles access to the traffic lights where Water Street intersects the Conception Bay Highway.
“If you saw a tractor trailer trying to pull off of George Mercer (Drive) onto the four-lane (highway), it can be kind of tangly, where if you have lights there, it makes it a lot easier,” said Franey.
Elms said the Klondyke will be inaccessible from early March until the end of June. The causeways connected to the bridge will not be worked on as part of this project. The bridge will be made with precast concrete.
News of the bridge’s impending replacement comes almost two years after council initially decided to do so. Back then, the budgeted cost was $400,000, but bids received in 2016 were at least triple that amount. Engineers were then asked to revisit the design so the project could be retendered. Bidders were given multiple options to choose from for the type of bridge to supply.
Goose Pond Road upgrades
The town is also close to having a plan in place to handle street upgrades on Goose Pond Road.
A request for bids was issued last year and closed in early December. The lowest bid of $816,500 from Cougar Engineering was above the town’s budgeted amount of $750,000.
According to a memo from town CAO Nigel Black, consulting engineers were asked to take another look at the proposed work and Cougar’s bid to consider options for revising the project and keeping it within budget. The solution those consultants found was to end the work at the “Y” intersection just before Goose Pond itself.
Council approved a motion Tuesday to have the engineering consultants negotiate with Cougar Engineering and limit the scope at the budgeted cost. The town would then look to budget the remainder of work on Goose Pond Road for 2019.