Bridge reopens 2 weeks ahead of schedule

By Allan Benner, The Standard

The J.R. Stork Bridge has reopened to traffic, more than a month since it was closed for repairs after it was damaged due to torrential rains in early May.

The Niagara Region reopened the span to traffic Thursday – two weeks before emergency repairs were scheduled for completion on June 30.

“It was on budget and under time,” said St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik. “When you have a company like Rankin working on it, you get exceptional work and it’s on budget.”

He said the company knew how important that artery is to the community.

In addition to the bridge repairs, a damaged 300mm regional water main providing water to the Port Dalhousie area was also reinstated.

Getting the watermain back into service was a critical element to the successful completion of this project, a Niagara Region media release said.

The road was closed May 5, after heavy rainfalls washed out some of the slope near the southwest approach to the bridge, causing significant damage to the bridge deck.

Following the bridge closure, the Niagara Region hired Rankin Construction, Ellis Engineering and Terraprobe Engineering to perform some preliminary engineering work and determine the best temporary repair solution.

Although the final bill wasn’t immediately available, the repairs were originally estimated to cost at least $500,000.