Bridge project finishes $860,000 over budget

HALIFAX: The almost year-long rehabilitation project on the Lennox Passage Bridge is officially complete.

Traffic has been limited to one-lane since December, 2018 but Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (DTIR) spokesperson Marla MacInnis confirmed the project is complete and came in at $5.5 million.

“The Lennox Passage Bridge returned to a two-lane structure on November 8,” MacInnis told The Reporter. “Minor clean-up work is ongoing [but] should have no further impact to traffic.”

In the winter of 2018, the speed limit on the bridge was reduced to 20 kilometres an hour as a temporary measure to reduce the impact to the bridge until the joints were repaired. The DTIR explained at the time that they noticed increased vibrations coming from one of the joints on the bridge platform, which was attributed to “typical wear and tear on steel bridges.”

On November 23, 2018 the DTIR awarded the then $4.64 million contract for the span to Allsteel Coatings Limited. The contract originally included repairs to the deck, steel work underneath the bridge, structural, concrete and mechanical repairs, electrical work, abutment stabilization and a replacement of the joints.

In August, the DTIR confirmed that the timeline for work on the bridge was extended and will cost more than originally anticipated. The province said the scope of the work increased because of “mechanical and structural issues.” The department expected the work to conclude at the end of June but unforeseen issues arose.

The DTIR explained that once crews started work on the 40-plus-year-old link, they realized that some parts needed to be disassembled, taken away to be worked on, then reassembled on site. The department said bearings on the concrete grinders had to be replaced.

This additional work added another 10 per cent to the final cost of the project.

In September, the DTIR said the bridge will be open for boaters next year.

“We are confident that this work has improved the operation of the lift span and the bridge overall,” MacInnis added. “No further repairs or rehabilitation work is expected for the long-term.”