Third Street Bridge set to reopen early next month

Road closed sign in front of the Third Street Bridge in Chatham. July 19, 2022. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

The opening of the Third Street Bridge in downtown Chatham is set for early September as the delayed bridge railings continue to trickle in.

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent is reporting that shipments of the railings have begun to arrive and will be installed in a timely manner.

The bridge railings were delayed due to a “supplier related issue”, which postponed the bridge’s official opening on July 23, 2022.

“These railings are a critical component to ensure the safety of both pedestrian and vehicular traffic on the bridge. It is expected that the shipments of railings will continue to arrive in the coming weeks and installation will continue throughout the month of August, with an anticipated completion in early September,” said Manager of Engineering Brendan Falkner.

Falkner said the official opening date of the Third Street Bridge will be announced later when the railings have been delivered to the site and a timeline can be officially established through the primary contractor.

The contractor is facing daily penalties for the delay, but Chatham-Kent’s Director of Engineering Chris Thibert told CK News Today it’s difficult to say how much they are currently facing. Thibert said he’ll have a better idea when the project is finished.

“The contract for the project spells out penalties and something called Liquidated Damages that have already come into effect and are applied every day over schedule. These penalties and damages in the contract are estimated values and the overall penalties and damages for the project going over schedule will be looked at all together at project completion to ensure we captured everything properly,” Thibert said.

The bridge opening has been delayed three times since May of 2021.