By James Matthews
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
A culvert on Earles Road in Highlands East will be replaced with a concrete deck slab.
Highlands East council was presented with four options during its Jan. 19 public meeting on how to repair the culvert. Though only a single property is cut off by the compromised culvert, the work is an emergency situation.
Earles Road culvert is presently not passable to property Lot A Concession 15 for safety, risk, and liability, and requires a full replacement.
The culvert replacement was previously budgeted at $250,000. Costs for fuel, material, and material availability have increased the price of the work beyond the budgeted amount.
McCaw said the additional costs will be included in the 2023 capital budget.
The municipality tapped Planmac Engineering Inc. of Mississauga to look into the replacement and to provide options and recommendations on moving forward with the project.
After extensive review and evaluation, engineers provided four options of how to go about replacing the culvert, said Brittany McCaw, the town’s deputy CAO/treasurer.
Corrugated steel pipe arch culvert with a closed bottom could be installed to shore up the site’s integrity at a cost of $291,500. The engineers suggested the use of a structural steel plate culvert with an open bottom with a price tag of $447,700. The possibility of replacing the Earles Road culvert with a prefabricated modular bridge was also offered for consideration. The cost to do that was estimated to be $388,850.
The option recommended by Public Works staff was to use a less-costly concrete deck slab with a price tag of $267,300.
McCaw said each of the options were evaluated with an eye toward location, management of river flows, mitigating natural, social, and cultural environmental impacts, construction ease and duration, and costs.
The recommended course of remediation involves construction of a precast or cast-in-place concrete deck slab founded on a concrete grade beam.
“This option is unique, though, in the sense that it is not considered to be a common design solution for municipal roads,” McCaw said. “It’s most likely found on some private logging or mining access roads.
“But due to the fact that it’s leading to only one property, it’s been recommended.”