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City staff say the total cost of demolition before HST will be $347,000. (Mike McCulloch/CBC)

The demolition of the Margaret Avenue bridge will start on the week of Oct. 21, the City of Kitchener has announced.

City staff have awarded the work contract to Bel-Air Excavating and Grading Ltd. from Cambridge.

Access will still be provided to businesses in the area, and staff say rail service will not be affected by the work, which is needed after the city concluded the bridge could be prone to collapse at any moment. City workers closed the structure to all traffic this summer.

Barbara Robinson, the city’s director of engineering, says the total price before HST for the demolition is $347,000. There is also an additional cost of $95,000 for a temporary gas main support.

“There’s a 100-millimetre gas main that’s embedded currently in the sidewalk of the Margaret Avenue bridge,” said Robinson. “That gas main services Bridgeport in the winter. We turned it off when we started having problems with the bridge, and that needs to be put back into service in time for the cold winter seasons.”

Robinson says city staff have started to develop request for proposals for a new bridge design and will be presenting a report to council on Oct. 21.

Demolition of the bridge is expected to be completed by early December.