Region restricts heavy vehicles on Freeport Bridge in preparation for bridge rehabilitation

Posted on Monday April 15, 2024

Waterloo Region – The Region of Waterloo has scheduled the rehabilitation of the Freeport Bridge for 2025. In preparing the scope of work for that project, the consultants’ initial structural investigation warranted a heavy vehicle restriction and more testing. 

“We regularly perform routine inspections and maintenance on all bridges across the region,” said Matthew Davis, director, Transportation Services. “In advance of the Freeport Bridge work, we recently completed a more detailed structural evaluation to define the rehabilitation requirements.”

As part of the structural evaluation, the Region’s consultants used computer software to model the effects of different vehicles and loads on the bridge structure to help inform the rehabilitation strategy. The modelling for the Freeport Bridge showed that current heavy traffic loads may be causing tensile stresses in the concrete arches that were not designed to withstand these loads on a repetitive and long-term basis. 

As a precautionary measure, the Region is restricting heavier vehicles to maintain the safety and integrity of the bridge. In addition, the Region will install monitoring equipment and perform live load testing — adding weight to the bridge to see how it responds — to confirm modelling results and determine the next steps for this structure.

Signs restricting heavy vehicle access will be posted on April 16 near the bridge and before the bridge approaches. Staff will monitor traffic flow in the area while the restriction is in place, which will remain in place until the rehabilitation is complete.

“We have contacted businesses, emergency services, and community organizations that will be most affected by this restriction,” added Davis. “Using alternate routes will ensure continued efficient and effective service delivery, with safety as a focus.”

The restrictions include:

  • Fire trucks
    • Fire service will maintain response times to the area by using Highway 8.
  • Grand River Transit (GRT) buses
    • GRT Route 206 iXpress Coronation, and Route 27 Morrison will be on detour. Detailed detour information can be found at grt.ca/detours.
  • School buses
    • Three buses are affected and will use alternate routes to continue to provide service to the community.
  • Waste collection trucks
    • Waste collection will continue with trucks using alternative routes to service the area.
  • Heavy vehicles
    • These include most fully loaded tractor-trailers, dump trucks and concrete trucks which will need to use alternate routes.

Ambulances, MobilityPLUS vehicles, cars, vans, pick-up trucks, and light-duty delivery trucks will continue to have access across the bridge. The Region of Waterloo will continue to work with its consultants to review monitoring and testing results and share further news once we determine the next steps for this historic structure.

 

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