Work to begin soon on Providence Bay Highway 551 bridge

PROVIDENCE BAY—The tender to replace the existing timber deck and steel girder bridge on Highway 551 leading to Providence Bay with a new concrete and steel girder bridge is expected to close this week.

According to Gordan Rennie, regional issues and media advisor with the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), it is anticipated that work will commence in mid-May and construction is anticipated to be completed by the late fall of 2017.

A temporary modular bridge and detour will be constructed adjacent to the existing bridge to maintain traffic and will consist of a single lane bridge controlled by temporary traffic signals.

There has been advance work already conducted on the structure, with bird exclusion netting installed under the bridge.

As to the cost of the project, Mr. Rennie noted that “to ensure competitive bidding, the ministry does not publish project estimates.”

The bridge project is part of the five-year Northern Highways Program rehabilitation program, and infrastructure effort by the province to upgrade the province’s highways.

Central Manitoulin council passed a motion permitting a request made by the MTO to utilize a section of municipal property adjacent to the bridge in order to store equipment and material needed for the construction of the new bridge.