EllisDon, Chant start construction on Burlington Canal lift bridge

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has announced the Burlington Canal lift bridge will be closed for construction until Mar. 20.

The 60-year-old bridge, owed by the federal government, requires major maintenance and upgrades. Work will include replacing the bridge deck grating and widen the pedestrian and cyclist pathways.

PSPC awarded a contract worth more than $21 million to EllisDon Civil Ltd. and Chant Limited, in joint venture to manage construction of the bridge deck replacement.

Work will include replacing the lift span’s bridge deck, restoring the approach spans and widening sections of the sidewalk to improve operations of the bridge. This project will also extend and maximize the life of the bridge deck, sidewalk and approaches.

“The Burlington Canal Lift Bridge is a vital component of our Ontario shipping system; it’s a picturesque alternative for motorists heading through Hamilton Harbour, and it has irresistible appeal to many Lake Ontario photographers,” said Hamilton Mountain MP Lisa Hepfner. “These upgrades will significantly improve the safety for people who use the bridge in many different ways, and will extend the integrity of the bridge for years to come.”

Construction is scheduled during the bridge’s annual winter shutdown for maintenance and repairs, in order to minimize disruptions and is expected to be completed by fall 2024.

The design and engineering contract was awarded to AECOM on Jan. 21, 2022.

PSPC worked with AECOM to finalize the design and engineering of the new bridge deck and to develop the rehabilitation plans for the bridge approaches and sidewalk.

The Burlington Canal Lift Bridge provides access to thousands of vehicles and pedestrians entering Hamilton Harbour. The project has 3 main objectives:

  • to replace the lift span deck
  • to rehabilitate the approach spans
  • to widen sections of the sidewalk, in order to provide sufficient width for pedestrians and cyclists to both pass safely

It is anticipated that this project will extend the life of the bridge by about 50 years for the deck and sidewalk and 30 years for the approaches.

Work will be completed in two phases as described below.

Phase 1—Removing and replacing the existing bridge deck. PSPC and contractors are required to lock the lift span in place.

Phase 2—Rehabilitating bridge approach spans and widening localized sections of the sidewalk will occur during the navigation season and is anticipated to start in April and end approximately in October 2023.


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