Prince of Wales Bridge

A while ago I questioned the lack of visible maintenance on the Prince of Wales railway bridge over the Ottawa River from Bayview Station to Gatineau. This is an important link in interprovincial transit.
Apparently the City is preparing a maintenance plan. The plan will cost 1.8 million; the repairs or rehabilitation another 20 t0 40 million dollars:

M E M O / N O T E D E S E R V I C E

To / Destinataire
Mayor and ToMembers of Council
File/N° de fichier: File Number
From / Expéditeur
Wayne Newell – FromDirector, Infrastructure Services Department

Subject / Objet
SubjectPrince of Wales Bridge
Date: 18 June 2009Date4 June 2009

On 4 March 2009 Transit Committee passed the following motion:

That the following Motion be referred to staff:

WHEREAS the Chaudière Bridge has proven to need rehabilitation and that supplementary corridors might be needed to assist in short-term inter-provincial transportation demand management;

AND WHEREAS the implementation of light rail on the Prince of Wales bridge would allow reallocation of the current bus fleet to provide additional service across the city;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT City staff be directed to immediately develop a Class A estimate for the rehabilitation of the Prince of Wales Bridge and associated track for light rail use;

AND THAT City staff be directed to report back to Committee and Council on the outcome of the Class A estimate.

The Prince of Wales Bridge is formed by two structures (north and south) separated by an island – comprised of six spans in the south structure and seven spans in the north structure. The clear width of the structure is approximately 5 m carrying one track only. The total crossing length is 989m. The structures were built in 1879 and were last rehabilitated in 1926.

In May 2005, the City purchased this bridge as a possible future transit crossing from Canadian Pacific Railway as part of the NS Light Rail Transit project. Prior to the purchase, the City conducted a visual inspection and condition assessment of the below water piers and abutments. A visual structural analysis was also conducted for the superstructure.

In January 2007, an inspection of the rail infrastructure on the south portion of the structure was carried out.

This structure is currently “out of service”, but not abandoned. Capital Railway’s Daily Operating Bulletin (the City’s operating entity) indicates that the Lemieux Island Spur (the track that crosses the Prince of Wales Bridge) is out-of-service.

Transport Canada was consulted regarding regulations for structures “out-of-service”. Bridges on an “out-of-service” rail corridor do not fall under the Railway Safety Act (RSA) and the railway’s Bridge Safety Management Program (BSMP) since they do not affect safe railway operations. However, the railway (i.e. the City) inspects these structures from a public safety and liability perspective. Transport Canada advised that before being placed into active service, we will need to inspect the structure in detail to ensure its safety for the operations that are being proposed.
Without a detailed condition assessment it is difficult to estimate the cost or extent of renewal, however based on the information available the cost could vary between $20M and $40M.Scheduled future work

To be able to prepare a Class A estimate – tender ready – a detailed inspection of the structure and rail infrastructure would be required to define the needs, followed by preliminary and detailed design, including seismic evaluation. This work would take approximately eight (8) months to complete at an approximate cost of $1.5M.

Without a detailed condition assessment it is difficult to estimate the cost or extent of renewal, however based on the information available the cost could vary between $20M and $40M.

This structure was identified under the Federal Stimulus Package for rehabilitation of the piers and abutments. The estimated budget for these repairs was $5M, however this project was not approved. The renewal will be undertaken as part of a future budget request.

The structure is also scheduled for new inspection for year 2010.

Should you need further information please contact me at extension 16002.

original signed by W.R. Newell

W.R. Newell, P.Eng.
Director, Infrastructure Services

Author’s InitialsPrepared by Initials
cc: Nancy Schepers, Deputy City Manager – Infrastructure Services and Community SustainabilityGary Craig, Manager, Deputy City Manager’s OfficeAlain Mercier, General Manager Transit Services DepartmentJohn Jensen, Manager Transit Rail, Safety and Development BranchAlain Gonthier, Manager Asset Management Branch