Strandherd-Armstrong bridge milestone: Concrete deck poured

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Ottawa Construction News staff writer

Construction on the delayed south-Ottawa Strandherd-Armstrong bridge project achieved a milestone in early November, when contractors poured the concrete deck, completing the work before the winter freeze over over approximately 30 hours.

Municipal officials had originally expected this work would have needed to be delayed until next spring, after welding and other problems delayed the process of moving the bridge structure into place over the Rideau River.

The project was originally supposed to be completed in September 2013.

The project was first delayed when the original general contractor, Concreate USL Ltd. Partnership, failed, and the bonding company, Guarantee Company of North America, assumed responsibility. Guarantee contracted with a group of former Concreate USL employees operating as Horseshoe Hill Construction Ltd. to complete the work.

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“They committed to an August 31 (2013) completion date, and we took them at their word,” Gloucester-Nepean South councillor Steve Desroches was quoted as saying in a published report. “If there was an accelerated approach that was taken, we may be able to save some two to three months, but the bonding company has made a business decision that they’re not prepared to entertain an accelerated approach because of the additional cost that would entail.”

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Desroches was quoted as saying the faster approach would cost the bonding company an extra $2 million to $3 million.  However, the other side of the equation is the $5,000 daily liquidated damage penalty, estimated around $1.7 million for the total delay.

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If the accelerated concrete pour could save three months on the construction process without additional costs, the bonding company would save approximately $450,000.

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

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