More welding work must be done at the Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge to complete the $48-million project to connect Riverside South and Barrhaven.

The bridge was supposed to be finished at the end of August, but residents are concerned the company completing the work won't make that deadline.

"With the mounting delays there's a sort of myth or perception at the back your mind that the bridge will never be operational. Never get done," said Scott Hodge, president of the Riverside South Community Association.

This is not the first time the project has encountered difficulty. Last year, the project was delayed more than two months after  the original contractor, ConCreate USL, went into receivership.

Horseshoe Hill Construction Inc. has since taken over finishing the bridge.

The bridge's arches were built in Nova Scotia then shipped to Ottawa in 30 pieces to save money.

Frigid conditions could be partly to blame

All winter crews have been working long shifts to weld it all together, but the frigid conditions could be part of the problem as each piece must be heated-up before worker can start welding.

City Coun. Steve Deroches said this is no simple machine-shop weld.

"I think the contractor in this case underestimated how much time might be involved because of the very sophisticated testing we are now putting the bridge through," said Desroches.

Worker Robbie Todd said bringing the welds up to an acceptable standard is time consuming.

"They had to grind (each weld) out, cut it out and gouge it out and fix it," he said.

Desroches said he's determined to get it done as fast as possible.

"We're looking at opportunities to try to expedite the process," he said. "We appreciate [the community's] patience and certainly, once it's done it'll be worth the wait."

Deroches said he should know in a few weeks if the project's expected completion date will change.