Crysler Bridge rehab rejected; work not likely until 2020

In this Google Maps image, a car heads over the Crysler Bridge on County Road 12 in the North Stormont village. County council has rejected bids to rehabilitate the bridge after they came in almost three-quarters of a million dollars over budget. (Google Maps via Newswatch Group)

SD&G – The county will be conducting a peer review of a construction contract in North Stormont after a series of bids came in nearly three-quarters of a million dollars over budget.

On the advice of the transportation and planning department, county council refused the bids for rehabilitating the Crysler Bridge on County Road 12 during its Monday meeting.

The county had budgeted $1.2 million for the work on the concrete slab bridge, which crosses the South Nation River. The bridge is from 1934 but went through reconstruction in 1975.

Four companies bid on the project – two came in around $1.9 million while the other two were rejected because of a “major technical error” with their proposals. But a report suggests those rejected bids were also around $1.9 million.

The report suggests the high bids may be the result to vague descriptions for the type of work or contractors elevating their price to cover risk.

“What concerns me is are we actually getting the right kind of investment in this structure? If you’re only looking for a 25-30 year rehab at $2 million. If we add another half million in, do we actually get a 50 year life?” SD&G Planning Director Ben de Haan told council Monday.

The peer review will include a cost-benefit analysis.

The project will likely be up for bids again in the latter part of this year.

“We could be out in the fall and, in theory, a contractor could start something in the fall. That’s a best case scenario. So it’s likely 2020 by the time we get going,” de Haan said.

“We’re in the fortunate position where the bridge isn’t falling down. The surface is in bad shape. I’m going to talk with my staff…we may have to do some hot mix patching and spend a little bit of money to keep it in reasonable shape for a little while. That’s superficial, nothing structural,” he added.

In January 2018, county council spent nearly $27,000 on the design work for the bridge.