Bruce County Seeks Disaster Recovery Assistance For Chesley Bridge Replacement

Damage to Chesley bridge in February of 2018. (Photo by Kirk Scott)

Bruce County council is hoping the provincial government will help cover the costs of replacing the damaged Chesley Main Street Bridge.

Director of Corporate Services Bettyanne Cobean says the county will be applying for financial assistance under the provincial Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance program for help with the $3.2-million price tag associated with the replacement of the bridge. The bridge had to be closed in February when it was damaged by flood waters.

Cobean says it’s not clear how much of the cost could be absorbed by the province.

“At this point, we don’t know what [costs] will be eligible, it is a relatively new, revised program, they’ve always had the disaster relief, but this is a little bit different,” says Cobean. “We would expect that we would be eligible for some costs.”

Cobean says the only factor that may hurt the county’s eligibility for funding is the fact that the Chesley Main Street Bridge is 96 years old and was due for replacement in 2021.

The corporate services committee has approved a budget amendment to include the entire cost of the bridge replacement, though Cobean says they will wait to find out if the disaster recovery application is successful before determining exactly where the funds will come from.

The formal request to apply for disaster relief funding will come forward to Bruce County council next month.