Friday, November 17, 2017
The transformation of Lakeshore Road Bridge was marked today with an official opening where Mayor Rob Burton was joined by Ward 2 Councillors Cathy Duddeck and Ray Chisholm and Ward 3 Councillors Dave Gittings and Nick Hutchins to unveil a commemorative plaque that will be installed on the bridge and cut a ceremonial ribbon. He then climbed aboard the town’s vintage fire truck and was the first person over the newly reconstructed bridge.
“I am extremely pleased that the bridge has been able to be opened ahead of schedule —just in time for our Santa Claus Parade. On behalf of Council, I would also like to thank everyone for their patience throughout the construction,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “With the completion of the bridge, the rejuvenation of Downtown Oakville is underway. Changing the streetscape in downtown Oakville will help pave the way for a revitalized downtown. This investment demonstrates a major commitment to our downtown, which is essential to the cultural and economic well-being of our community.”
With Lakeshore Road East (Navy Street to Allan Street) coming to the end of its lifespan and needing a major reconstruction, the town undertook extensive research and public consultation to identify broader opportunities to improve traffic, beautify streets and improve pedestrian/cycle ways in the downtown. In October 2015, Council approved the Lakeshore Road Reconstruction and Streetscape Project as part of the Downtown Transportation and Streetscape Study (DTS) study. The Lakeshore Road Reconstruction and Streetscape Project will begin in 2019 and be completed over a two year period.
The Lakeshore Road Bridge at Sixteen Mile Creek reconstruction took place in advance of the road project as inspections of the bridge revealed its condition warranted immediate attention.
The new bridge replaces a 50-year-old bridge that carried about 15,000 vehicles across every day before it was torn down. The first bridge was built in 1832, followed by replacement bridges in 1850, 1878, 1895, 1924, 1967 and 2017.
The new structure includes two travel lanes and bikes lanes. There is also a wider pedestrian sidewalk with a barrier wall to separate the sidewalk and vehicular traffic. New pedestrian railings and lookouts are included as well as LED lighting. The Lakeshore Road approaches to the bridge between Navy Street and Forsythe Street were also reconstructed and streetscaped with similar materials planned for the eventual reconstruction of Lakeshore Road in 2019/2020.
Visit oakville.ca to watch videos and check out photos of the bridge coming down and being rebuilt. Witness months of construction in just minutes with a time-lapse video; get a closer look at the old steel girders being removed and check out photos of the concrete pour on the bridge deck.
“The bridge was originally scheduled to be completed by mid-December so we are very pleased to be able to open it for businesses, residents and visitors a month ahead of schedule,” said Dan Cozzi, Director, Engineering and Construction. “This has been a very significant and important project for us and we are very happy with the overall result.”
The overall project budget for the new structure, including engineering design, contracted construction and project management costs was just over $10 million. While final invoices have not been processed, the overall cost is expected to come in below the budget amount.
Some additional minor works will be completed over the next three to four weeks but this work will not impact traffic or pedestrian access.
In preparation for the bridge closure, Navy Street was permanently converted to two-way traffic between Lakeshore and Rebecca/Randall streets in January 2017. As part of the Council approved Downtown Transportation and Streetscape Study (DTS), Navy Street is one of several streets in downtown Oakville scheduled to be converted to two-way operation. The other streets are scheduled to be converted in 2018.
The Downtown Plan, launched in December 2013, is comprised of the Downtown Cultural Hub Study (DCH), and the Downtown Transportation and Streetscape Study(DTS).