THE SLASH – At the July 7 meeting of Assiginack council, Mayor Dave Ham noted an email shared with the council table, an unsolicited suggestion from an engineer on how to replace the Rogers Creek bridge on Lakeshore Road in The Slash, shared jointly between Assiginack and Tehkummah. The bridge has been closed since the end of 2016.
Assiginack CAO Alton Hobbs explained to The Expositor that at first glance, the proposal has promise. “It basically lays down on top of the existing structure, which would limit permit approvals,” he said.
In an email from Tim Lee of Northern Mat and Bridge, Mr. Lee suggests going with a 60 ft. x 15 ft. x 28-inch Lessard modular bridge. “This new bridge would span beyond the existing crib substructure which would remain in the water untouched,” the engineer writes. “A new shallow timber substructure would be installed about five to seven feet away from the ends of the existing bridge.”
Mr. Lee goes on to note that the new bridge would span from bank to bank and wouldn’t require the support from the intermediate crib that is mid-span in the waterway.
Mr. Hobbs said that Assiginack is awaiting a quotation, but is hopeful that it will come in around $100,000 as public works crews do the installation themselves.
“Once we get the price we will approach Tehkummah,” the CAO added.
Mr. Hobbs said he didn’t think that either of the municipalities should rush into completing the work, but should rather seek out infrastructure revenue streams first. He did note, however, that this is one of the busiest areas of Assiginack.
In 2016, Assiginack received a quote for the replacement of the bridge from its engineer that came in at over $700,000. At that time, Jim Mortimer, a Lakeshore Road resident, offered his own bridge research and suggested a one-lane Lessard model, the same as Mr. Lee’s recommendation, with a quote of $89,300. Mr. Mortimer also offered a second option, an Algonquin Bridge single-lane steel girder bridge with a price tag of $65,000 plus HST.
At that time, Mr. Mortimer and fellow Lakeshore Road resident Andy Bowerman had presented the then-council with a petition on the timeliness of the bridgework which had garnered over 240 signatures.
The Expositor reached out to Mr. Mortimer for comment but did not hear back from the Lakeshore Road resident as of press time Monday.