Neighbouring building threatened as piling work starts on Owen Sound’s 10th St. bridge 

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Preparation work for the 10th St. Bridge (City of Owen Sound)

Ontario Construction News staff writer

As workers started driving piles into the ground for the 10th Street bridge’s foundation in Owen Sound, the city saw an unexpected problem with a building nearby at 994 1st Ave. E., the Owen Sound Sun Times has reported.

“Late last week, we noticed movement in the remaining building – some foundation settlement – and we had to take some precautionary measures and increase the monitoring of the building,” the newspaper quoted Dennis Kefalas, the city’s director of public works and engineering, as saying.

The building’s tenants were informed that they needed to vacate the building until they could determine what caused the problem.

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The building at 994 1st (Google Maps)

The problem was found to be due to sand settling under the building and a contractor is now looking into different solutions to stabilize the structure.

In January 2019, Owen Sound city council approved a staff recommendation for the city to buy the building at 95-99 10th St. E. which is next to the bridge. This way the building can be demolished to accommodate the new bridge’s foundation.

The council received a report that the under-structure of the former bridge went into the foundation of the building. Replacing the bridge with the building still standing would have presented more problems. Therefore, the building was demolished late last year.

The city of Owen Sound successfully applied for $3 million from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s Connecting Links fund. This will help to cover the cost of the project. The program requires that the work be finished by March 31, 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the $8.7 million bridge replacement’s schedule. The number of crews working at the site have been reduced from two to one.

The following work has already been completed: Addressing detours, signage and traffic control, finishing water main modifications, demolishing and removing the old bridge and driving piles for the foundation

The current phase involves completing the foundation for the new structure. After that, the next milestone will be installing the bridge girder and then the bridge superstructure.

Work is continuing, but contractors are taking extra precautions because of the COVID-19 with self-distancing and other safety measures.

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