TIR Provides Council with Updates on Springville Bridge and Abercrombie Intersection

NG A02 23082018 SPRINGVILLE BRIDGE medium

The closure of the Springville Bridge has been an agenda topic of Council's for the past two years. 

PICTOU, NS – Roads and bridges were the topic of discussion for councillors Monday when they met with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Area Manager Greg Chisholm.

Chisholm provided a detailed report to the Municipality of Pictou County on TIR’s budget, priorities, work schedules and assessments followed by a question and answer session with councillors.

County Warden Robert Parker asked for an update on two areas of concern for Council in the past few years that include the Springville Bridge and the Abercrombie intersection that links to the Trenton connector.

Chisholm said TIR is looking at designs to replace the current Springville bridge which has been closed for the past two years because of safety concerns. He hopes this department can replace it in early 2020 under its capital program.

He said TIR in the Pictou County area has 327 bridges and replacing the Springville bridge is estimated to cost about $3 million. He was unable to say Monday what kind of bridge will replace the existing structure, but he is confident it will be able to accommodate agricultural vehicles that are used in the surrounding farming communities.

“If funding is available, we would be ready to go next year,” he said.

Trenton Connector Meeting7Safety Concerns have been discussed by Council regarding the Trenton Connector and Abercrombie Road intersection. 

Regarding the Abercrombie Intersection, Chisholm said short term solutions such as upgrading the signal controls were done and a roundabout has been discussed amongst senior management. He said the idea has some support but is estimated to be another $3 million project for the area in an already tight budget so he doesn’t expect to see it built next year.

“It is on my priority list and it is something our top engineer is aware of and it will be continued to be monitored,” he said.
Chisholm said that there have been studies on the speed limits for all four approaches to the intersection and he expects changes in the future that will follow national guideline standards.

“I believe they were going to make some changes,” he said. “They discussed them verbally and we are waiting for the official signs to come through.”

Councillors used their time with Chisholm to ask questions about local capital projects, speed signs and safety concerns with local roads.

He said people who have concerns about local roads can contact the Operations Contact Centre which operates 24/7 as a province-wide single point contact. It has many functions including addressing routine inquires and brings areas of concern to TIR staff promptly for prioritization, action and follow up. It also can contact on-call supervisors in case of an emergency and tracks the issue from follow up plans, timelines, and resolutions.

It can be reached three ways that include calling locally at 902-755-7060, toll-free at 1-844-696-7737 or by email at TIR-OCC@novascotia.ca

Facts and Figures on Provincial Roads and Bridges:

Provincial budget for the Department of Infrastructure and Renewal: $497 million

This includes building services that include the construction of schools and hospitals as well as operations and maintenance of all government department buildings as well as its Transportation (Highway Programs).

Winter maintenance for snow and ice control consumes about 65 per cent of the operations and maintenance budget.
Summer maintenance for such things as asphalt patching, gravel road grading, dust control, shoulder repair, driveway culverts, brush cutting, and ditching takes up 35 per cent of the operations and maintenance budget.

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal owns 90 per cent of the roads in the province which equals 23,000 km and 4,100 bridges.

In the Pictou Area it has:
1800 Km maintained roads (8 % of the province)
1000 km of these are paved roads
146 km 100 series controlled-access highways
81 km truck arterial highways
250 km route collector highways
523 local roads
800 km local gravel road
327 bridges

Of the $300 million into highway capital program:
$130 million is allotted to new highways.twinning highways, new bridges, twinning
$100 million goes to repaving all our roads
$30 million goes to replacing and repairing bridges
$20 million allotted to gravel roads
$7.4 million for equipment
$7 million for property acquisitions
$5 million for engineering, design, and surveying

Typical Construction Costs:
$150,000-$350,000 per km for repaving
$3-5 million per km for twinning
$10—75,000 for minor bridge maintenance and repairs
$250,000-1 million for major rehabilitation of a bridge
$100,000 to $3 million for bridge replacement