The Power Canal Bridge in Thorold on Merrittville Hwy (Regional Road 50) officially opened today, restoring traffic on a major artery connecting Welland and Pelham with St. Catharines and Thorold.
The bridge replacement is the second part of project that also saw the Beaverdams Road bridge rebuilt in 2015. Rankin Construction was awarded the contract for both bridges and completed the work for a combined cost of $6.8 million, which is below the project budget of $8.5 million.
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) had maintenance responsibilities for the bridges and is transferring responsibility to Niagara Region. As such, OPG funded the project and provided an additional $3.75 million toward future maintenance costs. The replacement project was managed entirely by Niagara Region.
Work on the Power Canal Bridge began last fall. The contractor took advantage of favourable weather over the winter months and innovative construction methods to improve on the schedule, completing the bridge more than two months ahead of schedule.
Beaverdams Road Bridge is a single span bridge at 34 metres. Power Canal Bridge is a 3-span bridge at a length of 138 metres.