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Central Bridge Reconstruction Project

The Central Bridge will be closed to the public from January to December of 2022.

Ride the LT

The Town of Carleton Place understands that the closure of the Central Bridge will impact residents, especially on the north side of the river, and their ability to access public and medical services, and shopping on the south side of the river.  Therefore, the Town of Carleton Place has partnered with the Lanark Transportation Association to assist residents by offering transportation services at a reduced rate.  Ride the LT is a community bus service provided for the low fee of $2.00 per trip every Wednesday in Carleton Place. The Town has reached an agreement with Lanark Transportation to also have this service available to Carleton Place residents on Fridays.

Residents can book their seat for Wednesdays by calling (613) 264-8256 or 1-877-445-5777 before 10:00 a.m. each Monday. Similarly, to book your seat for Friday, call the same number by 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday. The stops are designed to be 45 minutes or 90 minutes.  When dropping a client off, the driver will ask if they wished to be picked up in 45 or 90 minutes.

Central Bridge Closure

Central Bridge is now closed to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Detours are in place to assist motorists and pedestrians with alternative routes.

Gilles Bridge Open - Gillies Bridge has reopened for public use. The flow of traffic will be northbound only to allow emergency services quicker access to the north side of Carleton Place.

Ottawa Valley Recreation Trail (OVRT) - Pedestrians are encouraged to utilize the OVRT to navigate their way over the river. Public Works is maintaining the paved portion of the trail throughout the winter to provide pedestrians with a safe route. Additional signage has been installed near the bridge to advise motorized vehicles to watch for pedestrians. Lighting has also been installed from Rosamond Street to Carleton Junction along the trail to increase the safety for pedestrians.

Downtown is Open for Business - Residents are encouraged to support our local businesses during these challenging times. Our downtown merchants will remain open for business during the Central Bridge Replacement & Bridge Street Reconstruction and look forward to seeing you! Residents will still have access to businesses located between Bell Street and the Central Bridge.

Should you have any questions or concerns, regarding any of these projects, please call (613) 257-2253 or email dyoung@carletonplace.ca

The replacement of the Central Bridge is a multi-faceted project which involves many components requiring synchronization in terms of both work and timing in order to allow the project to proceed.  The components of the project include the following which will be completed over three years:

  • Rehabilitation of Gillies bridge
  • Installation of a watermain crossing at McArthur Island
  • Safety improvements for pedestrian access at Mill Street
  • Utility (natural gas, water and communications) relocations
  • Replacement of Central Bridge  
  • Reconstruction of Bell Street
  • Review of treatment options for storm sewer adjacent to Central Bridge

All updates related to the project will be posted to this page. Please use the menu below to jump to a specific section:

December 2021 - Overview, Detours, FAQ

Louis Bray Construction has prepared a video that gives an overview of the upcoming work including the detours that will be in place, and answers some frequently asked questions about the closure.

Video Overview of Project

The Public Works Department is committed to keeping our residents informed every step of the way.  Staff have prepared a video that gives a detailed overview of the project.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Q: Why is the back bridge (Gilles) only one way

A: To ensure that Emergency Services have quick and safe access to the north side of town.

Q: How are you going to stop people from driving southbound over the back bridge?

A: Signage and barricades have been erected indicating that the bridge is closed to southbound traffic. OPP will be randomly patrolling the area. We are asking motorists to do the right thing and not travel southbound over the back bridge, even if there is no one around, for the safety of the community.

Q: How are kids supposed to get to school (walking) if they aren’t allowed to use the bridge?

A: Pedestrians are encouraged to utilize the OVRT to navigate their way over the river. Public Works is maintaining the paved portion of the trail throughout the winter to provide pedestrians with a safe route. Additional signage has been installed near the bridge to advise motorized vehicles to watch for pedestrians. Lighting has also been installed from Rosamond Street to Carleton Junction along the trail to increase the safety for pedestrians.

Q: Why have you not installed lights at Townline Road and Highway 7 intersection?

A: The Highway 7 corridor is overseen by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO). Public Works staff requested a temporary set of lights be installed at that location and the request was denied by MTO as it was deemed unnecessary.

Q: Why is the Central Bridge reconstruction scheduled to take the majority of 2022 to complete?

A: All Parties involved concur that the timeframe projected is a realistic, and actually aggressive to complete the replacement of the Central Bridge.

One example of timing considerations is that the removal process is one that will need to be undertaken in a manner that ensures that there are no impacts to the river below and the adjacent buildings and structures. This will require a methodical approach and have schedule implications.

Other components of the project that have impacts on the schedule are, the rehabilitation of the support components such as piers and abutments, complete rebuild of the bridge including decorative components such as concrete arch fascia and custom parapet walls and railings, adjacent retaining walls, lighting system, and the required coordination with utilities that will see the gas main, telecommunication, and water distribution infrastructure replaced in the new bridge structure.

Q: Why is the Mill Street underpass closed to vehicular traffic?

A: The basis for keeping the underpass closed at this time is that the Public is still adjusting to the new detour routes and appropriate direction of flow on these routes. It is always preferable to direct detoured traffic to two way roads which are not encumbered by physical barriers and which can more easily handle the increase in traffic.

Q: When will the Central Bridge reopen

A: Louis Bray is aiming to have the Central Bridge reopen in December 2022.

Construction Updates

Surviving Construction Presentation

As a business owner, it's important that you plan ahead, be proactive, and possibly make short-term adjustments to lessen the impact of construction, and better equip yourself to capitalize on opportunities when the dust settles.

The Carleton Place Chamber of Commerce hosted a one-hour presentation on Wednesday, September 29th, 2021 on what to expect and how to best prepare for the 2022 Central Bridge and Bridge Street reconstruction project. Guest speakers included Dave Young, Project Manager for the Town of Carleton Place and Lindsay Wilson, Marketing and Economic Development Officer for the Town of Arnprior.

Please click on the image below to view the recorded file of the presentation.

Screenshot of Presentation

Phase 1 Works

Background: The following projects need to be completed in advance of the Central Bridge Replacement which is planned for 2022:

  • Gillies Bridge Rehabilitation
  • Bell Street Reconstruction
  • MacArthur Island Watermain Crossing
  • Mill Street Pedestrian Upgrades

Project Descriptions and Schedule:

  • Gillies Bridge Rehabilitation
    • Scope of Work: repairs to the abutments, piers, girders, bearings and resurfacing of the bridge deck.
    • Timing – Spring of 2021
  • Bell St Reconstruction
    • Project Limits: Bridge Street to Mullett Street
    • Scope of Work: Replace sewer and water, Bridge St. to Edmund St. New road base & asphalt, new concrete curbs/sidewalk, storm sewer and catch basin replacement
    • Timing Spring of 2021
  • New Watermain Crossing at MacArthur Island
    • Prior to beginning the reconstruction of the Central Bridge, a new watermain loop will need to be constructed across the river on MacArthur Island.
    • This will ensure the water distribution system remains robust during the period of time that the existing river crossing on Central Bridge is out of service
    • Timing-Spring 2021
  • Mill St. Pedestrian Upgrades
    • The OVRT will be utilized as an alternate river crossing for pedestrians  while the Central Bridge is being replaced. Improvements to the connection to Mill St. and a sidewalk between the OVRT and Judson St. is being installed.
    • Timing-Summer 2021

Tendering Update - February 2nd, 2021

Tender PW5-2020 – Central Bridge Replacement and Bridge Street Reconstruction and Various Projects - Tenders were received for the Central Bridge replacement, Bridge Street reconstruction, Bell Street reconstruction, Gillies Bridge rehabilitation, McArthur Island Watermain Crossing, and Mill Street Pedestrian Upgrades until Thursday, January 14th, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. This tender process is the culmination of 18 months of detailed design development through the work of designers, with inputs from Council, Staff, various Stakeholders, residents, regulatory agencies, and utility companies. The tender package consisted of all projects relating to the Central Bridge replacement and the construction period will extend over two (2) years commencing in 2021.

All bids received were complete and accurate, and the low bidder, Louis Bray Construction has demonstrated through examples of prior projects and industry references that were included in their bid submission that they are well qualified to undertake this major project.

Staff has been reviewing the tender results with both our consultant and Louis Bray Construction to determine areas where cost savings can be realized through alternatives or elimination. It has been determined that there is little opportunity in the Year 1 works (Gillies Bridge, McArthur Island Watermain, Bell St., Mill St.) for cost savings as the design elements are necessary and cannot be substituted or eliminated. The total construction costs of the Year 1 works are $4,131,733 (net HST including no contingency or provisional items).

Staff are exploring several opportunities within the Year 2 works (Central Bridge and Bridge St.) to reduce costs. Council directed staff to work with Louis Bray Construction and R.V. Anderson on a value engineering exercise regarding the Year 2 works (Central Bridge Replacement, and Bridge St. Reconstruction) and report back to Council at the completion of this exercise.

Public Open House - September 16th, 2020

A Public Open House has been scheduled to present the status of the current design for the Reconstruction of Bridge Street, and to continue to facilitate coordination between the project team and interested residents and businesses. The event will be held as an informal “Open House” with materials pertaining to the Project on display, and members of the project team on hand to answer questions and discuss issues related to the project.

Public Open House
Date: Wednesday, September 16th, 2020
Time: 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Location: Small Upper Hall – Neelin Community Centre (75 Street, Carleton Place, ON)

COVID-19 measures will be in place for this open house. The number of people in the hall at one time will be restricted in accordance with provincial legislation. Face coverings will be required at all times inside the hall.

Presentation materials are now available on the Town’s website for advance viewing and the provision of comments for those not able to attend the Public Open House. See here for PDF version of the presentation.

Town of Carleton Place
Dave Young, Project Manager
Tel: 613-257-6249
E-mail: dyoung@carletonplace.ca

R.V. Anderson Associates Limited
David O’Sullivan, P.Eng, PMP, Project Manager
Tel: 416-497-8600
E-mail: dosullivan@rvanderson.com

1st Round Tender Results

Summary: At the June 30th meeting, Council was presented with the results of the tendering process for PW1-2020 – New McArthur Island Watermain Crossing, Gilles Bridge Rehabilitation, and Mill St. Pedestrian Connection Improvements. The tender included:

  • The installation of a new watermain from Princess St. to Rosamond St, that will cross the Mississippi River by having insulated pipe attached to the Gilles and Mill St. Bridges
  • Rehabilitation of steel girders and concrete abutments and replacement of deteriorated bearings, along with other minor repairs of the Gilles Bridge
  • The installation of a pedestrian pathway along Mill Street from the OVRT to Judson Street

Although there were numerous plan takers for this tender posting, the Town only received one bid for the project which was $1,666,724.99 over the Town’s budget of $1,613,000. The works associated with this project need to be completed in advance of undertaking the Central Bridge Project. Staff felt that the best approach would to be to defer this project, incorporate Bell Street back into the tender package for completion in 2021, and commence construction on the Central Bridge and Bridge Street in 2022. Council agreed to reject the bid received in response to Tender PW1-2020 due to budgetary constraints and directed staff to consult with the Bridge Street Stakeholder Committee prior to reissuing the tender with the incorporation of Bell Street.

Full Tender Results Update

Central Bridge and Bridge Street Reconstruction Q&A

Dave Young, Director of Public Works and Kate Murray, BIA Coordinator, answer key questions and provide valuable information in a Zoom chat regarding the upcoming reconstruction project. The discussion can be viewed on the Town’s Facebook page.

Town Receives Infrastructure Funding For Central Bridge

Carleton Place is celebrating the recent announcement by the Honourable Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure of $4,166,500 in combined federal/provincial funding for the replacement of the Town’s Central Bridge under the Rural and Northern funding stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (CIP).  This $30 billion infrastructure funding program, focussing on roads and bridges, air and marine infrastructure, provides funding to municipal governments and indigenous communities with a population less than 100,000 of which there are about 500 in Ontario.

Full Funding Announcement

Central Bridge Design

Full Public Consultation Document

Please email Dave Young at dyoung@carletonplace.ca for Detour Options and Preferred Design Concept Drawings.

The Central Bridge, located on Bridge Street in downtown Carleton Place, is the central link across the Mississippi River. The bridge was constructed in 1928 and rehabilitated in 1983. Recent inspections of the bridge identified structural deficiencies and insufficient load carrying capacity. 

The Town of Carleton Place is considering options to replace the Central Bridge to address the identified structural deficiencies and to serve the Town for years to come. The project works will also include consideration for additional pedestrian facilities and repairs to Gillies Bridge, and potential widening of the other single lane bridge to McArthur Island further to the east, with relocation of utilities undertaken as required. 

The project is being completed as a Schedule “C” project in accordance with the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (October 2000, amended in 2007, 2011 & 2015). As such, extensive public and technical agency consultation will play a key role in developing the study recommendations. Preliminary project information and planning alternatives were presented at the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Public Consultation Centres. 

Load Restrictions

Based on a recommendation provided by the Town’s engineering firm, Council has enacted a by-law that restricts allowable vehicle weights crossing over the Central Bridge located on Bridge Street.  The by-law is effective upon the erection of signage.  Signage is slated to be installed at strategic locations throughout Carleton Place on Monday September 10th.

Signage will indicate the maximum gross vehicle weight is:

  • Single Unit – 15 tonnes
  • Tractor Trailer Unit – 25 tonnes
  • Tractor Multi Trailer Unit – 35 tonnes

Should you require further information, please contact Carleton Place Public Works at (613) 257-2253.