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Region to replace watermains on Albert Street bridge

Work a part of replacement project of 401 structures

Durham Region is moving towards replacing watermains at Oshawa’s Albert Street Bridge.

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

Regional staff are looking for a company to design the replacement watermains at the Oshawa’s Albert Street bridge over the 401.

At the most recent works committee meeting, staff requested the region enter a sole source engineering services agreement with WSP Inc.

The agreement would see the company put together a detailed design to replace the existing watermains at the bridge.

The cost for the project cannont exceed a buget of $246,086, and will be funded by fifty per cent from the approved water supply budget of $300,000.

The remaining funds will come from the Ministry of Transportation.

The ministry has proposed to remove and replace the existing bridges over Highway 401 at Simcoe and Albert streets in Oshawa.

“The planned work requires the relocation and replacement of existing watermains owned and maintained by the [region],” reads a report penned by acting commissioner of works John Presta.

According to Presta, the region has identified 450 mm cast iron watermains installed in 1946, which are within the construction limits proposed for the new bridge.

Due to the age of the infrastructure and potential for breakage during construction, it’s been recommended they be replaced with watermains with a diameter of 600 mm.

It will tie into the existing watermain with a new 300 mm watermain at Lviv Boulevard.

The report also notes if a new valve chamber is needed, the ministry will cover 100 per cent of the costs.

Staff have also identified existing watermans with 300 mm diameter which were installed in 1905 and 1978, and also fall within the proposed construction limits.

Staff is recommending to council these watermains be abandoned after the new 600 mm watermain is installed.

Ward 2 city and regional councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri expressed some concerns about the aesthetics of the bridge.

He pointed out the City of Oshawa is attempting to revitalize its downtown, and he hopes the bridge will fit the mould.

According to Ramesh Jagannathan, Durham’s director of transportation and field services, the region will be consulting with the city about the details of the bridge. However, he noted the final decisions lie with the province.

“At the end of the day, it would be [the Ministry of Transportation’s] say, but we are at the table,” he explained.

The decision to work with the Ministry of Transportation now lies in the hands of regional council, and will be decided at their next meeting.