OTTAWA, Ont. — If you close your eyes, you might miss it the replacement of the Island Park Bridge, that is. For the first time in Ontario, groundbreaking technology that can easily lift and move 500-tonne bridges is being used to remove and replace a bridge overnight, said Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield.
“This amazing piece of equipment will save commuters dozens of hours by reducing traffic delays caused by construction,” noted Cansfield. “In this case, the highway is expected to reopen in a record-breaking 15 hours.”
The state-of-the-art technology called rapid replacement technology has been used effectively in North America and Europe, the Ministry reports. It lifts old bridges out of the way and replaces them with pre-constructed bridges in a relatively short amount of time no demolition required.
“Highway 417 is an important economic corridor used daily by more than 7,500 trucks and 150,000 commuters and tourists,” added Ottawa Centre MPP Richard Patten. “This is a magnificent technological achievement. Our community, cottagers and tourists depend on this bridge, so minimal down time benefits everyone.”
The $8.6 million contract to replace the bridge on Highway 417 was awarded to Dufferin Construction Company from Oakville. Other work included adding a new concrete median barrier, lights and replacing the noise barrier wall.
“Through ReNew Ontario, the province’s five year, $30-billion plus infrastructure investment plan, we were able to use this exciting technology to make the Island Park Bridge replacement possible,” said Public Infrastructure Renewal Minister David Caplan. “The success of ReNew Ontario is closing the infrastructure gap and delivering real results in revitalizing the province’s hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and public transit.”
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