Pickering, ON, January 16, 2014 – Effective immediately, the City of Pickering has closed the Whitevale Bridge to vehicular traffic due to safety concerns.
The replacement of the Whitevale Bridge is a budgeted capital project with a planned closure date in June to facilitate construction. However, the most recent safety inspection revealed that an abutment has shifted outward, due to the recently experienced extreme weather.
The City’s engineering consultants believe that the bridge’s structural integrity is compromised and they have recommended that the bridge be closed to vehicles, but can remain open and accessible to pedestrian traffic until the replacement project commences. The City will consult with the Toronto Region Conservation Authority and other stakeholders about possibly starting the project earlier than scheduled.
City staff will be implementing a traffic management plan and detour routes to help facilitate vehicular movement around the closed bridge. Staff is in consultation with Canada Post to install temporary postal boxes for the convenience of residents/businesses located west of the bridge.
The City of Pickering will be employing several methods to notify Whitevale residents of the bridge closure and detour routes including door-to-door notification. Additional signage will be installed to enhance visual notification in and around the hamlet.
Although earlier than anticipated closure of the Whitevale Bridge will cause an inconvenience to the area, the City’s primary and overriding concern remains residents’ safety. Council and staff will work diligently to ensure that the bridge closure and replacement project will result in a positive outcome for the community.