WINNIPEG, MAN. – Winnipeg’s only bridge built with a wood-concrete composite deck is about to go face the wrecker’s ball.
The nearly 70-year-old bridge on Dublin Avenue where it crosses over Omand’s Creek in the west end is going to be replaced by a cast-in-place, reinforced concrete bridge – at a cost of $4.7 million – with another $9.5 million being invested in reconstructing and rehabilitating pavement on segments of Dublin Avenue and St. James Street in project area.
City of Winnipeg Project Engineer Cam Ward points out that the current bridge is the only of its kind in Winnipeg. The deck is composed of nail-laminated boards topped with structurally reinforced concrete and an asphalt wearing surface.
“The bridge has reached the end of its useful life,” he notes. “The current weight limit for the bridge is 36.5 tonnes, which is just over half of the usual maximum allowable gross vehicle weight. The sidewalks are narrow and present barriers to accessibility.”
The new bridge will meet current standards for vehicle weights, thereby eliminating road restrictions, he adds. The new structure will also have wider sidewalks for active transportation.
The City’s website listing traffic counts reported an average of 16,400 vehicles in 2018 crossing the bridge daily.
Bridge replacement work started in early January and is expected to be completed by May, 2020. Ward points out that the bridge design will incorporate best practices to protect the creek environment and aquatic habitat. The aim is to complete the bulk of the bridge’s construction over the winter when water levels are lowest and potential for run-off is reduced. A winter build also won’t interfere with fish spawning season.
Major roadworks in the vicinity of the bridge will begin in the spring of 2020 and continue through the fall.