Avonmore Road overpass meeting Friday

A section of Avonmore Road is closed for the replacement of the Highway 401 overpass on Saturday, April 7, 2018. A meeting is taking place Friday, May 25, 2018 with MTO officials and South Stormont as the county transportation engineer hasn't seen 'a great amount of staff or any kind of productivity' on site this spring. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

SD&G – Officials with the United Counties and South Stormont will be meeting with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation Friday for an update on reopening the Avonmore Road overpass.

The bridge over Highway 401 has been plagued with delays by the contractor. It was supposed to have been open last fall and then by Christmas. The MTO then stopped giving updates to county council.

While it wasn’t on Monday’s county council agenda, Coun. Eric Duncan brought it up during another bridge tender.

“I’m not an expert but it will be next May (2019) by the way it looks…it’s just another broken promise, another delay,” Duncan said.

Transportation Director Ben de Haan said he had also heard the road (County Road 15) should be open by the end of the month.

“I’ve driven by and observed myself and have not seen, from the times I have been there, a great amount of staff or any kind of productivity taking place there. Again, I’m not there every day, I can’t comment for sure,” de Haan explained.

Earlier this spring, the county even passed an exemption for Cruickshank Construction of Kingston, Ont. to allow it to move heavy gravel on County Road 15, during half-load restrictions, in an olive branch-like deal to accelerate completion. That deal was on the proviso the construction firm would pay for any road damage.

But with nine days before the end of the month, the extra assistance hasn’t seemed to help.

De Haan will be meeting with the MTO and the Township of South Stormont.

The MTO is also expected to provide an update on the status of the Wales Drive (County Road 12) overpass replacement, which was supposed to start this year. In December 2017, council put itself on the record to the MTO that it didn’t want the Wales Drive overpass started until Avonmore Road was complete and open.