FORKS ROAD BRIDGE TO CLOSE FOR INDEFINITE PERIOD

This sign was posted at the east side of the Forks Road bridge in Dain City in April 2016. It followed by a few days the message on the city’s website: “Until further notice, Heavy Truck traffic is RESTRICTED from using the Forks Road bridge in Dain City. Any heavy vehicle caught travelling on the bridge may be subject to fines. Regular vehicular traffic will not be impacted.”  (FILE PHOTO  by Joe Barkovich)

WELLAND – The City of Welland is scheduling an indefinite road closure of the Forks Road Bridge located in Dain City. The closure will be in effect on Nov. 2, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. and will remain closed until further notice. Although pedestrian access will remain open to the public, no vehicular access will be permitted. City Council and staff understand the significance of traffic disruptions that occur with road closures, and are therefore arranging the most direct detour to minimize and prevent traffic congestion.

The city’s Engineering Division has routinely monitored the condition of the Forks Road Bridge since the bridge underwent a temporary closure in 2016. The 2016 closure involved three weeks of maintenance repairs by Rankin Construction and Black Creek Metal. Staff anticipated the maintenance would give the Forks Road Bridge several more years of life expectancy; however, during a recent inspection engineering staff discovered that the structure is deteriorating faster than anticipated.

“It’s not possible to determine how quickly the steel will continue to corrode, and the impact this will have on the integrity of the structure,” said Chris Anders, Manager of Engineering Services. “We aren’t able to control which vehicles cross the bridge, and whether or not they are under the posted load restriction, so we need to keep public safety first and foremost.”

A report containing several options will be presented to City Council later this year. In the meantime, city staff recommend the public stay informed through the City of Welland website at welland.ca.

(Source: City of Welland news release)

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