Public Works Director Jérémie Bouchard presented the United Counties of Prescott-Russell public works advisory committee (UCPR) with reports on the draft plan for next year’s public works budget and a summary of a comprehensive consultant report on the state of existing UCPR infrastructure that includes bridges, culverts, and roads, and what future upgrade work may be needed for these structures.
One of Bouchard’s recommendations is to give rehabilitation work on the Belanger Bridge and Cobbs Lake Bridge a priority rating in the 2022 capital works budget. He noted that both bridges are in “decent condition” and do not pose a risk for current traffic use but added that dealing with structural improvement needs now would be cheaper than having to replace the bridges altogether in future.
Belanger Bridge, located on County Road 8 between Clarence-Rockland and The Nation Municipality, is the longest bridge in the Prescott-Russell region. The estimated cost for rehabilitation work now is about $3.5 million. Cobbs Lake Bridge, located on County Road 2 outside of the Village of Bourget, would cost about $1.9 million for structural enhancement. Closure of both to allow uninterrupted work on rehabilitation would involve 15-minute detours routes for traffic.
The public works committee will recommend to UCPR council that rehabilitation work for both bridges receive priority consideration during the 2022 budget review discussion.