Bridge Deterioration Could Mean A Long Closure
The Third St. bridge in downtown Chatham will be closed for at least a couple more weeks.
Municipal officials closed the bridge to traffic August 3, following a planned inspection.
Thomas Kelly, general manager of infrastructure and engineering services, says they’re currently in the process of doing a “detailed assessment”.
“We expect to have the results in about two weeks time,” he says. “At that time we’ll be able to define more clearly exactly what the next steps will be.”
Kelly says regular inspections are done on all bridges in the municipality that are greater than 3 m, adding they were expecting the Third St. bridge to be in need of rehabilitation.
“During one of these inspections, there were some concerns with some deterioration,” he says. “We did an assessment at that time and as a precaution, we decided to shut the bridge down so that there was no issue regarding public safety.”
Although the deterioration caused concern, Kelly says the decision to close the bridge was more of a precautionary measure rather than an immediate threat to drivers.
“It caused enough concern that we didn’t wish to have further vehicle traffic,” says Kelly. “If you look at the bridge now you can see that we’re doing a very detailed assessment. That can only be done with the bridge being closed as well.”
Kelly says an update on the status of the Third St. bridge can be expected in the next two weeks.