Burlington Canal Lift Bridge: Bridge deck replacement project

From: Public Services and Procurement Canada

Find out about the deck replacement project for the existing Burlington Canal Lift Bridge.

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Project overview

Burlington, Ontario
Locate the Burlington Canal Lift Bridge on a map
Type of project
Lead department
Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC)
Design and engineering consultant
AECOM Canada Ltd. (Kitchener, Ontario): $1.86 million
Construction manager
EllisDon Civil Ltd. and Chant Ltd., in joint venture: $18.88 million
Project status

The design and engineering tender was posted on buyandsell.gc.ca in early November 2021 and closed on December 21, 2021. The design and engineering contract was awarded to AECOM on January 21, 2022.

The construction management tender was posted on buyandsell.gc.ca on April 12, 2022, and closed on June 3, 2022. The construction management contract was awarded to EllisDon Civil Ltd. and Chant Ltd., in joint venture, on June 21, 2022.

Next steps

PSPC is working with AECOM to finalize the:

  • design and engineering of the new bridge deck
  • develop the rehabilitation plans for the bridge approaches and sidewalk

Now that EllisDon and Chant, in joint venture, have joined the project team, PSPC and AECOM are incorporating their advice and construction experience into the overall design and engineering.

Project description

About the bridge

The Burlington Canal Lift Bridge provides access to thousands of vehicles and pedestrians entering Hamilton Harbour.

Replacement project

We are undertaking a project to replace the existing bridge deck. 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 approximately:

  • 50 years for the deck and sidewalk
  • 30 years for the approaches

This project will improve the overall operations of the bridge, extend its lifespan and ensure the safety of bridge users.

Project phases

We anticipate that the project will be delivered in 2 phases as described below.

The schedule for delivering the project will be finalized by late summer 2022 as additional advice and input is required from the Construction Manager.

Phase 1—Removing and replacing the existing bridge deck

To deliver this phase of the project, PSPC and the contractors are required to lock the lift span in place.

The bridge will be closed to pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles during the winter shut-down period from the beginning of January to the end of March. Users will be redirected to alternate routes for the duration of this phase.

Marine users will also not be able to navigate through the Burlington Canal as the bridge will not be operational from the beginning of January to the end of March 2023. There is a possibility that Phase 1 will extend over 2 winters and will need to be completed from January to the end of March 2024.

Phase 2—Rehabilitating the bridge approach spans and widening localized sections of the sidewalk

Phase 2 of the project will occur during the navigation season and is anticipated to start in April and end approximately in October 2023.

During this period, the bridge will be operational and will be available to pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.

Vehicles can expect to encounter lane restrictions during this period. Pedestrians/cyclists will be given on-site directions to safely cross the bridge.

All cyclists are required to walk their bikes through the construction zone and will not be permitted to ride on the roadways.

Marine users will be permitted to navigate through the Burlington Canal during this period as the bridge will be operational.

Key milestones

  • January 2020: start project preplanning and stakeholder consultations (completed)
  • January 2022: award design engineering contract (completed)
  • June 2022: award construction management contract (completed)
  • Summer 2022: tender construction sub-contracts (anticipated)
  • Winter 2023: start construction (anticipated)
  • Summer 2023 to winter 2024: complete project (anticipated)

Project background

Engaging with stakeholders

In early 2020, we started work on a concept design to replace the bridge deck. While developing the preliminary design, we advised and consulted with the key stakeholders affected by the project:

  • Ontario Ministry of Transportation
  • Cities of Hamilton and Burlington
  • Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority

We are ensuring that stakeholders are regularly consulted throughout the planning process.

Initial meetings with stakeholders were held in May and July 2021. All stakeholders have asked PSPC to continue engaging with them on this project, as it will have a significant impact on:

  • vehicles
  • pedestrians
  • cyclists
  • marine traffic

We are planning a public information session. We will provide more information once the project schedule is fully developed, with the Construction Manager’s input.

Latest news about this project

July 7, 2022: Government of Canada awards construction management contract for Burlington Canal Lift Bridge deck replacement

Related links

More information

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