Hwy. 401 overpass replacement delayed

CORNWALL – A multi-million dollar project to replace two overpasses on Highway 401 at Cornwall Centre Road won’t be completed before the snow flies.

The $14.2 million project by Toronto-based Aecon Construction was to be completed by Oct. 31.

But only one bridge – the westbound span – has been replaced as of Nov. 4.

Due to “unexpected” and “unpredictable challenges,” says the MTO, there’s not enough time before winter to demolish the eastbound bridge and lift the new rigid-frame bridge into place.

Aecon is hoping to have all four lanes on Highway 401 and Cornwall Centre Road open before the end of the year.

But it will mean traffic headaches come the spring when the firm plans to close Cornwall Centre Road and reduce Highway 401 to two lanes again to put in the final span.

The MTO was asked whether any penalties would be leveled against the contractor for not meeting the deadline.

“We do not release the specific amount of financial consequences imposed on contractors, as this is a contractual matter between the ministry and the contractor,” spokeswoman Cheryl Carew said in an email to Cornwall Newswatch.

“If necessary, the ministry will seek to recover any additional costs incurred.”

The contract was originally awarded to Aecon Construction in May, 2013.

“We understand that this will be challenging for residents and business owners in the area. We are committed to working with all partners and stakeholders to help mitigate these impacts,” said Carew.

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