Arup Canada, Pomerleau awarded contracts for work on Alexandra Bridge in Ottawa

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By Robin MacLennan

Ottawa Construction News staff writer

The Government of Canada and Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) announced that a $14.95-million contract has been awarded to Arup Canada Inc. for the professional services of a technical advisor to support the Alexandra Bridge replacement project.

Also, a contract was awarded to Pomerleau Inc. for construction management services to perform essential maintenance to keep the 120-year-old bridge safe and in service until its deconstruction.

The initial value of the contract is $31.98 million, which covers the projected cost of structural repair work on the boardwalk and the articulation joints, as well as the construction manager’s fees. The value of the contract may vary as the construction manager further assesses the project and awards subcontracts for the repair work to keep the Alexandra Bridge safe and in service.

Repair work will start in summer 2023 and is expected to be completed in summer 2025.

The technical advisor will support PSPC, working with the National Capital Commission (NCC) as part of an integrated project team, in coordinating and completing a number of economic, heritage and environmental studies, as well as developing the conceptual designs of the new bridge.

“We have completed several rehabilitation projects to make sure that the bridge remains safe for users until it can be replaced,” said Paul Lebrun, chief engineer. National Capital Region Bridges, PSPC. “Despite all of this work, detailed inspections tell us that the bridge continues to deteriorate, mainly due to corrosion.”

In 2017, a comprehensive detailed inspection (CDI) of all components of the bridge, including an underwater inspection, was completed. The CDI noted that the structure was deemed in inadequate condition with the main means of deterioration being corrosion of the primary structural members.

Ongoing structural steel replacement works have continued through to 2021, with planned boardwalk and articulation repairs for 2022-2023 that will require closure of the boardwalk lane. The bridge will remain open with one reversible lane for traffic and one lane for active transportation users during the boardwalk repairs.

The public will be able to participate in the design process through consultations that are expected to begin in winter 2023 to 2024 with the presentation of conceptual designs. An independent panel of experts will review and recommend a preferred concept design and support a design competition to be held in the future.

“The Alexandra Bridge is a national historic site in the National Capital Region, connecting communities on both sides of the Ottawa River,” said Helena Jaczek, minister of public services and procurement. “Our government remains committed to designing a new bridge that considers the history and unique setting of the existing bridge, respects the integrity of the national capital’s cultural landscapes, and reflects Canadian values and identity.”

While the bridge replacement project continues, PSPC is carrying out repair work to keep the Alexandra Bridge in service and safe for commuters.

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