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New Harbour Lands bridge gets bump from federal funding

Remediation works passes the halfway point at Oshawa's waterfront

The federal government is contributing $160,000 to the replacement of the Oshawa Creek pedestrian bridge. The overall cost of the new bridge is approximately $545,000, a large part of the nearly $1.3 million remediation and redevelopment work ongoing at the Oshawa Harbour Lands. (Photo by Joel Wittnebel)

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

The redevelopment of Oshawa’s Harbour Lands is getting a boost from the federal government who have approved $160,000 to be put toward the new pedestrian bridge set to span the Oshawa Creek.

The new bridge, which will replace the decrepit wooden structure, has an approximate $545,000 price tag, and is a large part of the nearly $1.3 million remediation and redevelopment work currently ongoing at the Oshawa Harbour Lands, which also includes the installation of a soil cap and erosion controls.

The new bridge, which will become part of the 780km long Waterfront Trail connecting Oshawa to surrounding municipalities.

The dollars were announced by MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes during a presentation at the Jubilee Pavilion and are being allocated under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, a $300 million fund that was established to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

For Mayor John Henry, the new bridge is a big step forward for the future of the city’s Harbour Lands.

“This trail is going to meet the needs of our community for a very long time,” he says.

Looking at the redevelopment project as a whole, according to Glenn Simmonds, the city’s director of operations, the work has now passed the halfway point and is on schedule for completion by the end of the year.

“The Oshawa Harbour and Marina Parkland Redevelopment project consists of implementation of soil capping and soil erosion control systems. This includes soil placement, seeding, shoreline erosion protection utilizing boulder placement, and vegetation planting,” he writes in an emailed statement. “In addition to the implementation of the capping and erosion control measures, the project includes the demolition of the former Yacht Club, removal and replacement of the on-site pedestrian bridge, and the construction of an accessible walking trail through the site. As of early October, the project is on budget, on schedule, with approximately 60 per cent of the scheduled work complete and is on schedule to meet the city’s deadline for completion of Dec. 31, 2017.”

The soil capping is  part of the environmental work required by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change under its Certificate of Property Use (CPU), handed to the city in November, in order for the city to eventually develop the site.

The project work is being managed by XCG Consultants, who have been heavily involved with the harbour work since the city regained ownership of the property. Council approved the single-sourced contracted earlier this year with the project management costs of $314,500.

The work does not include the management of a future public marina and boat launch. Currently, the city is in the process of having a consultant review the responses of two interested parties to a Request for Proposals.