Strandherd-Armstrong bridge delayed another year

The $48-million bridge that will connect the communities of Barrhaven and Riverside South won’t be completed until September 2014, according to the bonding company responsible for the project.

The Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge was originally slated to be functional by spring of 2012, but has faced a myriad of construction problems pushing back the completion date to August of this year, and now a year later than that.

Several issues have contributed to the delay in the construction work, including problems with the delivery of the arches and the “complex nature of the welding work and preparatory work for the Rideau River launch of the bridge,” according to a release from the City of Ottawa.

The majority of the bridge will be built on land before it is shifted into place across the river.

OBJ first reported about complications surrounding the bridge’s welding work in February, when subcontractors said that the cold weather had created challenges with the bridge’s welding, leading to construction grinding to a halt and several steelworkers being laid off.

Coun. Steve Desroches, who represents Gloucester South-Nepean, later confirmed the welding problems and said city officials would be revisiting the expected completion date.

“I am disappointed by the news that further delays are impacting the completion date for the Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge and the inconvenience this is causing to the residents of Ottawa,” Mr. Desroches stated in a city statement released Thursday.

More than 70 per cent of the bridge work is currently complete, according to the city. Most of the welding work is done and the bridge will be launched across the Rideau River this summer. That will be followed by concrete for the bridge deck being poured in spring of 2014, with the final work to follow before September.

A performance bond is in place to ensure the bridge is completed with no additional costs to the city.

The original contract to complete the bridge was awarded to ConCreate USL Ltd. Partnership in July 2010. At the time, officials said work would be completed by spring 2012.

After ConCreate filed for bankruptcy protection last March, the project was taken over by Horseshoe Hill Construction Inc., which is headed by former ConCreate employees.

Horseshoe Hill will be charged liquidation damages effective Sept. 1 2013, which was the original contractual date of completion, according to the city.

The completed bridge will span 143 metres and accommodate eight traffic lanes, two bike paths and two pedestrian sidewalks.