Study expected to take approximately two years to complete
MANITOULIN—The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) has announced that it has identified a consultant to undertake a study looking at the future of the Manitoulin Swing Bridge.
“We’ve identified a consultant and expect to start the study this winter,” said Carole Paiement, communications services coordinator, regional services with the MTO North East Region, this past Monday. She explained, “at this time, we anticipate the study will take approximately two years to complete and will cost about $2.5 million.” She pointed out the MTO is in the process of getting approvals and final signing of the consultant for the study. The consultant will be made public in the next few weeks.
As reported last September, the MTO is in the early stages of an environmental assessment to determine the fate of the 104- year-old historic bridge at Little Current.
The bridge provides the only land access onto Manitoulin Island, but it must swing open several times a day to allow boat traffic into the North Channel.
With the MTO having hired a consultant, the environmental assessment will then include preliminary designs, alternate locations and public consultation.
Part of the environmental assessment process is consultation with public stakeholders. “The public will be advised of the opportunity to participate in public information centre sessions with regards to the project-once the study has started,” said Ms. Paiement. The public will have the opportunity to see and comment on the alternatives and design process. In addition, people will be able to provide any comments or questions through the EA (environmental assessment) study.
The Swing Bridge in Little Current, which is designated an Ontario Heritage site, marked its 100 year anniversary in 2013.