At their meeting last night, the Lanark County Council discussed a report by Sean Derouin, Public Works Manager for the County, recommending that the Andrewsville Bridge remain closed until a geotechnical assessment is completed on the causeway. Council received a report from Keystone Bridge Management Corp., who had preformed assessment tests on the bridge, resulting in a recommendation that the bridge be reopened with the existing speed and weight limits remaining in force. However, a staff report suggested that closing the bridge would not have a major impact on local residents. 

“… the only motorists that would be affected by the bridge closure would either reside on either side of the bridge or are visiting the bridge/ residents. The residual motorists would be intentionally crossing the bridge out of desire and not necessity. About 20 residents live on either side of the bridge, so it can be assumed that only 10% of the daily traffic would be affected by the bridge closing.”

The estimated cost of replacing the heritage bridge with a modular one is $3.8 million.

Two delegations addressed Council at the meeting, The Ontario Federation of All Terrain Vehicles noted that the bridge is the only legal route for their members to cross the Rideau River, and asked that: “the County consider other options than just closing the bridge, as this will have a negative impact on the clubs in this area and the ability to access trails.”

Rory Blaisdell, of the Friends of Andrewsville Bridge, which has lobbied long and hard for preserving the bridge, also made a presentation to Council. The delegation provided a very detailed analysis of the situation with regard to the bridge, including many other factors than heritage and history. The presentation cited traffic flow patterns on the bridges at Merrickville and Burritt’s Rapids, as well as Andrewsville. A detailed costing of alternative solutions to the bridge’s renovation requirements was an important part of the delegation’s recommendations.

Council’s decision on the issue will be forthcoming.


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