Smiths Falls has received good news from the Ministry of Transportation, which will be providing a grant of $1,216,350 to help complete work on the Beckwith Street bridges.
In a letter dated March 29, Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca advised that the grant, provided through the 2017-18 Connecting Links funding program, is to be used for “Beckwith Street structure rehabilitations” begun last year.
“Once this work is done, we’re going to be way ahead of the curve in work on our bridges,” said Councillor Chris Cummings at an April 10 meeting of Smiths Falls town council’s Committee of the Whole.
The bridge repairs began last year, following a consultants’ reported that was completed in 2015 which indicated that the Old Lock Bridge, New Lock Bridge, and Pedestrian Underpass along Beckwith Street all required major rehabilitation.
In a report to council last October, Troy Dunlop, director of public works and utilities for Smiths Falls, recommended applying for Connecting Links funding to repair all three bridges, because all three structures are located close together, and “a strong case could be made for concurrent rehabs of all three structures.”
Dunlop also advised that the overall cost of the work is estimated at $1,500,000, of which the town’s share will be just $135,000, with the provincial grant covering the remainder of the cost. The project should extend the life of the bridges for up to 25 to 30 years, said Dunlop.