Feds to solicit bids for bridge upgrades

Local construction companies will soon have an opportunity to bid on rehabilitating three interprovincial bridges in the National Capital Region, the federal government announced Tuesday.

The amount allocated to these projects was not disclosed, but in a press release, Public Works noted the projects would be tendered through Merx, a procurement site commonly used by the federal government. 

The projects are:

- Macdonald-Cartier Bridge: seismic retrofit, replacing guardrails and the centre median, replacing and widening sidewalks, replacing the lighting and electrical system, and various repairs. The three-year project should begin in spring 2013.

- Alexandra Bridge: protective recoating. The two-year project should start in spring 2012.

- Chaudière Crossing: Minor steel repairs and protective recoating, which is already happening. More work in Gatineau is to come, including replacing the deck, sidewalk and barriers, seismic upgrades, and protective repainting of the steel structure. The two-year project should begin in fall 2012.

Almost three years ago, Pomerleau won a $35.2-million contract to upgrade the Alexandra Bridge. A few months later, local Conservative MPs held a news conference to announce stimulus funds would be allocated to the Alexandra Bridge renewal, sparking criticism that the money - earmarked for initiatives over and above normal lifecycle repairs - was being spent on projects already in progress.