Fifth Street Bridge Rehabilitation
Start: November 2018
Last Updated: January 6, 2020
Originally constructed in 1960, the Fifth Street Bridge is an important piece of transportation infrastructure spanning the Courtenay River. The bridge requires structural improvements, new coating and paint to repair and prevent corrosion and deck repairs. The last significant investment in the bridge, including seismic upgrading, was completed in 2012.
The City is planning for the rehabilitation of the Fifth Street Bridge, including improving cycling and pedestrian accessibility across the Courtenay River. New widened pathways will improve pedestrian and cycling connectivity across the river, access to downtown, and help accommodate continued growth in the number of people who walk, cycle and use mobility aids.
Thank you to the nearly 100 people who came out to the Florence Filberg Centre on November 21, 2019 to learn about the Fifth Street Bridge Rehabilitation Project.
Thank you to all those who provided feedback on the Fifth Street Bridge Rehabilitation project through an online survey. The survey closed on December 6, 2019. Survey results will be shared with Council, and will help inform planning and communications for the project.
Fifth Street Bridge Project E-Newsletter
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The proposed scope for the Fifth Street Rehabilitation Project includes:
- Removal of the lead‐based paint
- Recoating and painting of all the steel
- Steel repairs to the end of the deck beams underneath the bridge
- Removal of the hand rails and hot dip galvanizing the railings and rub rails
- Removal of existing overlay
- Deck concrete removal to a partial depth
- Placement of a new concrete overlay, including cathodic protection
- Line painting
- 3.0 metre multi-use pathways on both sides of the bridge, doubling the width of space dedicated to people who walk, cycle and roll
Detailed planning is underway to:
- Mitigate construction impacts to all modes of transportation including emergency vehicles, transit and active transportation
- Identify and plan for environmental/regulatory considerations including protection, mitigation and permitting
- Schedule construction, considering phasing and seasons
- Safeguard important community utilities (water, gas and tele-communications) that run under the bridge
Several long-term plans and recent consultation as part of the Connecting Courtenay: Cycling Network and Transportation Master Plan reference the need to improve multi-modal connectivity across the Courtenay River.
Three-metre wide dedicated multi-use pathways will be added on both sides of the bridge to improve safety, accessibility and user experience for people who walk, bike, use strollers or have mobility aids.
Additional cycling and pedestrian amenities will improve connectivity across the river, access to downtown, and help accommodate continued growth in the number of people who walk and cycle in Courtenay.
Planning is underway for potential paths and improvements for cyclists and pedestrians approaching and exiting the new multi-use pathways. These potential improvements will be informed by public input and detailed technical analysis and considered by Council early in the 2020.
In parallel to the planning for rehabilitation of the Fifth Street Bridge, Courtenay Council has directed staff to investigate construction of a permanent Sixth Street bike and pedestrian bridge.
Timed with additional information related to the Fifth Street Bridge, staff will report back to Council in early 2020 with further detail about Sixth Street bridge options.
A multi-phased planning process is underway and construction is expected to begin in 2020 or 2021, however a detailed schedule has not yet been finalized. Public engagement will occur throughout the process.
Active construction is expected to take approximately eight months. The timing and length of the work will be informed by seasonal weather, regulatory requirements, and minimizing impacts to the public.
Prior to commencing any work, extensive communications will ensure the public knows what to expect during construction.
The project is partially funded by a New Building Canada- Small Communities grant. The deadline to complete the project, under the terms of the grant is March 2022.
The Fifth Street Bridge is coated in lead paint that must be removed to address the corrosion within the steel. To protect the surrounding environment, the bridge will need to be wrapped for significant lengths of time during the project. Metal scaffolding around the bridge will be covered to prevent lead paint and other contaminants from entering the Courtenay River and surrounding area. The scaffolding required to safely complete the work will narrow the vehicle travelling lanes, reducing the available lane width and height.
Maintaining access for all modes of transportation is an important consideration as options are explored in coming months.
Traffic will need to be reduced to one lane during construction and brief intermittent periods of full closure may be required at times. There may also be implications for emergency vehicles which are considered in parallel with large trucks and buses. This requires further analysis and is being considered as the project scope is finalized and a traffic management plan is completed.
The traffic management study will be completed to determine the most efficient and safe options for the travelling public. It will take into consideration technical and public input.
In order to remove the lead paint and re-coat the steel structure, high pressure compressors are used. The compressors can produce a great deal of noise. The City will explore the application of noise barriers to reduce the impact.
Should work be completed during evening hours, construction lighting may be used.
Construction lay-down area
The contractor will require a large area beside the bridge for storage of equipment, supplies, vehicles and a constructions trailer.
Bridges serve an important role in our communities and require thoughtful consideration when it comes to repair and investment. The City is committed to identifying all possible ways to expedite the timeline while ensuring public safety and minimizing costs.
The current estimate for the Fifth Street Bridge Rehabilitation project is $8.3 million.
|Project Element||Rehabilitation + 3.0 metre wide Bike and Pedestrian Pathways|
|Outcome||A rehabilitated crossing with extended service life that provides improved cycling and walking amenities, with full utilization of the grant.|
|Bridge Recoating & Deck Renewal||$4.1 million|
|Structural and Traffic||$2.2 million|
|Cantilever Pathway||$2 million|
|Fed / Prov Grant||$1.96 million|
|City Borrowing Amount||$5.4 million|
Cost estimates are based on discussions with the City’s design team and industry contractors who track recently completed projects in Western Canada to inform their estimates. These estimates also compare bridge work undertaken in Campbell River and Duncan in 2018.
The City of Courtenay was successful in securing a grant of $1.96 million though the New Building Canada- Small Communities fund, which requires construction completion by March 2020. The remainder of the project costs will be funded by the City of Courtenay.
The City may borrow funds, utilize infrastructure reserve funds, increase taxes or a combination of options. The City also continues to seek additional grant funding from a variety of sources to help offset project costs.
Further study as planning proceeds will refine estimates. Should borrowing be required, a borrowing bylaw and associated public engagement will occur.
For more information on the Fifth Street Bridge project, email firstname.lastname@example.org