By Chad Ingram
The county’s bridges and culverts will require tens of millions of dollars in repairs and replacements over the coming decades.
Haliburton County councillors received a presentation from Harold Cleywegt, managing director with Keystone Bridge Management Corp. during their Dec. 9 meeting, the county having hired Keystone to complete an inspection of its bridges and culverts.
The inspection included 18 bridges and 24 large culverts, and showed $10.35 million in capital needs related to these structures between 2021 and 2028, “to bring the structures up to a good state of repair,” Cleywegt said.
“We’re recommending four culverts be replaced, and five bridges are in need of what we call a comprehensive rehabilitation,” he said.
More than half of the surface area of the bridges included in the inspection is at least 50 years old, with some parts 110 years in age.
“Typically, as bridges get older, they require more capital investment to sustain their life and to maximize the remaining life left in them,” Cleywegt said.
For the period of 2021 to 2028, the firm’s recommendation was that an average of $1.3 million per year be spent on bridges and culverts, with the heaviest degree of need in the next few years, between 2021 and 2023.
Nearly 13 per cent of the county’s bridge and culvert inventory has been renewed in the past 20 years, with Cleywegt adding the desirable renewal rate is typically one per cent per year. “Haliburton County’s doing OK, but could be doing better,” he said.
Over the next 40 years, there will be a need to replace about $27 million in structures, and in total the county is looking at approximately $92 million in asset replacement over the next 80 to 90 years.
“This is excellent information for us to receive prior to our budgeting process,” said Algonquin Highlands Deputy Mayor and County Warden Liz Danielsen. “Not unexpected, but still pretty eye-opening when you start looking at the amounts.”