Five Bruce County bridges to be inspected

( file photo by Miranda Chant)

A changing climate is forcing Bruce County council to take a closer look at some of its bridges.

Council has approved the transfer of $35,000 from reserves to be put toward detailed inspections of five bridges ahead of the arrival of winter ice.

Director of Transportation and Environmental Services Miguel Pelletier said the five bridges chosen are all more than 50 years old and are constructed with steel girders, and receive underwater and fatigue inspections.

Pelletier said a changing climate is producing stronger and more frequent flooding events, such as the one last winter that left the Chesley Main Street Bridge damaged beyond repair.

“Normally, we could have planned some of these inspections for next year, but we didn’t necessarily want to wait until after the spring,” said Pelletier. “So we wanted to go ahead and look at some of those bridges that have been identified with some scouring issues on the piers and identify if we have some issues to deal with.”

The five bridges identified by the county include Forrester Bridge and George Grant Bridge in Paisley, Schenk’s Bridge in Saugeen Shores, Saugeen River Bridge in Walkerton and Sweiger Bridge north of Chesley.

The plan is for divers to carry out the inspections no later than December.