Elgin County Experiences Delay of King George VI Lift Bridge Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation on the King George VI Lift Bridge in Port Stanley is expected to be completed on June 25, 2021 instead of the originally anticipated completion date of May 31, 2021.
Despite best efforts, some unexpected delays have pushed back the King George VI Lift Bridge re-opening date, to June 25, 2021. These delays are a result of the challenges associated with doing business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health and Safety protocols and provincial social distancing requirements have extended completion timelines. Additionally, COVID-19 related disruptions to the supply chain, which continues to affect various global sectors, have resulted in material delivery delays. Impacts associated with these delays are budgeted through the project’s contingency and therefore the County expects no cost increases.
During this delay, the bridge will remain closed to both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The County of Elgin recognizes the importance of the bridge to marina operators and boaters, and will therefore accommodate marine traffic in time for the Victoria Day weekend by opening one side of the bridge.
“Although we are disappointed that the bridge will take a bit longer to complete than we anticipated, we have all come to expect a bit of upheaval as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Warden Tom Marks. “Despite these delays, Council is extremely pleased with the progress being made on this important piece of County infrastructure and is committed to seeing the rehabilitation completed to the highest standards possible.”
The rehabilitation project for the bridge received unanimous approval from Elgin County Council on March 10, 2020 and was awarded to Landform Civil Infrastructures Inc. in the amount of $5.8-million. The rehabilitation project involves structural, mechanical, and electrical repairs which will allow this structure to continue to operate as a moveable bridge, and will extend the service life of the bridge approximately 25 years.
Originally constructed in 1938, the bridge spans the Kettle Creek and is located on Bridge Street (C24) in the village of Port Stanley. This single-span double leaf bascule bridge spans 42.7 m with an overall deck length of 68.3 m. The bridge accommodates two lanes of traffic and opens to allow the passage of commercial fishing and recreational watercraft.
“This bridge is extremely important to the village of Port Stanley,” said Warden Tom Marks. “Not only does it connect the two sides of the village but it acts as a landmark and point of interest itself having been in operation for over 80 years. It isn’t often that bridge infrastructure remains in constant use for so long, which made the rehabilitation of this structure even more critical. Council prioritized this rehabilitation to ensure that this iconic piece of living history remains in good working condition for many years to come.”
The County of Elgin would like to remind residents that despite the bridge closure and provincial restrictions, many businesses and restaurants in Port Stanley remain open for curbside pick-up. If you are able, please continue to support the small business community during these difficult times. For more information about businesses offering curbside pick-up visit https://www.progressivebynature.com/SupportCentralElgin.
For more information about the history of the King George VI Lift Bridge and regular construction project updates visit https://portstanleyliftbridge.ca/
For additional information, please contact:
General Manager of Engineering, Planning & Enterprise / Deputy CAO
Warden Tom Marks