Will the Margaret Avenue bridge be scrapped?
Fate of the aging structure to be decided next month by Kitchener city council
Kitchener city council is one step closer to deciding the fate of the Margaret Avenue bridge, a 60-year-old structure built with now-obsolete materials and based on an outdated design, that engineers say is teetering on the verge of collapse.
The bridge has been in a state of limbo since June, when an engineers' report indicated it was prone to collapse at any moment and city workers closed the structure to all traffic.
Barbara Robinson, the Director of Engineering for the City of Kitchener, said Wednesday the fate of the bridge should be known by the end of the summer.
"I think it's a fairly good bet that this bridge needs to be replaced...I just don't know the time frame for that," she said.
Bridge is outdated, obsolete
City staff are currently researching options to present to city council, but the most expensive option remains tearing down and replacing the bridge, which is estimated to cost at least $5 million.
The Margaret Avenue bridge was built almost 60 years ago and suffers from a laundry list of problems, which include an outdated design, now-obsolete materials and builders who did not follow the structure's exact blueprints during the original construction.
Restauranteur Ying Chau said Wednesday that she hopes something will be done about the aging structure soon, she said the closure has affected her business and she doesn't know how much longer she can stay open.
"If they can fix, then fix. If they can't...then no choice for us," she said.
City councillors aren't expected to make a decision on the fate of the bridge until at least next month, that's when city staff will have finished their research and provided local politicians with a list of options.