No Unusual Boating Restrictions Under Fifth St. Bridge

Fifth Street Bridge. (Courtesy of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent)

If you need to boat under the Fifth St. bridge in Chatham this summer, the municipality says no problem.

The bridge will be under reconstruction until December 22 and Director of Engineering and Transportation Adam Sullo says there are no unusual restrictions on marine traffic.

Sullo says the contractor will have a barge on the river during demolition over the next few weeks but it shouldn’t interfere with boats and will be docked nightly.

“We’re anticipating most of the work to happen on the outside of the centre piers. So, the bank side, so the centre should remain open. They may have to do some work in the centre, so it may obstruct a little bit but we’re not anticipating [delays] to a large degree. We’ve asked them to accommodate boaters,” says Sullo.

Rehabilitation work includes both abutments and centre piers, installation of new structural steel and concrete decking, road reconstruction near the structure, and the reconstruction of traffic signals at King St. and Fifth St.

Sullo says some short delays may happen during working hours but they should be minimal and rare.

“There may be some restriction. That’s mainly due to the fact that the channel between the two piers is the deepest and if they’re in that area and there’s an obstruction, it may be difficult for a boater to go on the outside of the piers,” Sullo says.

Sullo says when the demolition is done later this month, boating will be wide open with no restrictions out of the ordinary.

“There shouldn’t be as much barge work required and they [boaters] should be able to access pretty freely. There’s no planned restriction. It’s just one of those things where if a boat is too large and it can’t fit in there, that’s the only reason why they may not be able to go in there,” says Sullo.