Horseshoe Hill to complete Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge

A new prime contractor will complete the Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge, which has been sitting unfinished since the original contractor went into receivership in March, the city announced Wednesday.

Ottawa-based Horseshoe Hill Construction Inc. will pick up where ConCreate USL Ltd. left off after being named in receivership papers that cited$34.6 million owed to creditors.

Construction ground to a halt only with only 60 per cent of the bridge completed, but work will begin again within the next few weeks, city councillor Steve Desroches said. The project is slated to be completed in August 2013, pushed back from the original end date that would have seen the bridge functional last month.

The new contractor was chosen by the city's bonding company.

Subcontractors for the project were not named, and Mr. Desroches said he was unaware of how many companies involved in the original contract, if any, will be recommissioned to continue the project.

The City of Ottawa will use a $23-million performance bond to complete the construction of the bridge after declaring ConCreate in default of its obligations.

Any additional costs above and beyond the $23-million bond protecting the city will be the responsibility of the bond company, Mr. Desroches said, not taxpayers.

"At the end of the day, we just want to build this bridge," he said.

The $45.2-million bridge is intended to provide a shorter route between the communities of Riverside South and Barrhaven. The federal and provincial governments are each funding a third of the bridge costs.

The bridge, originally a piece of the city's first light-rail transit plan, will span eight lanes across the Rideau River near south Barrhaven. The local BIA regards the bridge as key to developing the South Merivale Business Park, at Prince of Wales Drive.

The federal and provincial governments are each funding a third of the bridge costs.

The Bolton, Ont.-based company completed the Cyrville Bridge reconstruction in Ottawa and also built the Whistler Sliding Centre for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

With files from Elizabeth Howell