Campbellford Bridge Repairs

Map of detour route for Campbellford Bridge constructionThe Campbellford Bridge is a vital community link, servicing residents travelling through town and across the Trent River/Trent-Severn Waterway. Its safety and condition are a high priority for Northumberland residents.

This fall, the County will be replacing the expansion joints to prevent damage to the bridge, reduce traffic noise, and ensure a smooth transition for vehicles crossing the bridge.

Expansion joints require replacement every 15 to 30 years. The condition of the expansion joints does not present a risk to public safety.

Bridge closure

The expansion joint replacement project will occur over a period of approximately three weeks in September and October of 2022.

The work will involve nightly closures of the bridge from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Completing the work during low traffic periods overnight will help limit impact to the community.

During the bridge closure, emergency services will be able to continue to safely use the bridge, and one sidewalk will remain open for pedestrians to cross.

A formal detour route will be set up for motorists to travel north to Healey Falls and around.

Detour route

Each night during construction,  the Campbellford Bridge over the Trent River/Trent-Severn Waterway will be closed from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. with a detour route in place.

View the detour map

Frequently asked questions

What work will be done?

The expansion joints on the east and west ends of the Campbellford Bridge that carries Bridge Street (County Road 8) over the Trent River/Trent Severn Waterway need to be replaced.

This will prevent damage to the bridge, reduce traffic noise, and ensure a smooth transition for vehicles crossing the bridge. Minor repairs to the concrete sidewalks will be completed at the same time.  

Why do the expansion joints need replacing?

Expansion joints experience higher levels of movement, moisture and traffic impact and are often one of the first components of a bridge to show fatigue. It is an expected occurrence over time and part of the regular maintenance requirements of a bridge. Depending on conditions, joint replacement can be expected every 15 – 30 years.  

When will the work be done?

The exact timing has not yet been confirmed, but the work is being planned for mid-September to early October. The County is currently preparing design details for a request for tenders. It is expected a contractor will be selected in July with work starting in September/October of 2022.

What are the impacts to traffic and pedestrians?

The project will involve nightly closures from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., for a period of three weeks. 

Completing the work during nighttime, when traffic flow is lower, will help limit the impact to the community and will provide a less disruptive option for residents and other road users. 

The detour route will direct traffic north through Healey Falls, Crowe River Bridge and Pethericks Corners. At night, when the bridge is closed to vehicles, one sidewalk will remain open for pedestrians to cross.

Will there be any impacts when working at night?

The completion of the work at night will create noise during concrete removal and other construction operations associated with installing the new joints. Work will be scheduled to be completed as quickly as possible to limit disruption to area residents. The County will be requesting a noise by-law exemption from Trent Hills Municipal Council to allow for overnight work. Temporary lighting will also be used at night.  

What about emergency vehicles? Will they need to detour at night?

No. One-lane access will be in place for emergency vehicles to cross the bridge safely and quickly when needed. In consultation with emergency services, other safety measures may be put in place if necessary.

Were other options considered such as keeping one lane open?

Three options were explored, with consideration for duration, cost, and impact to residents. The option of reducing the bridge to one lane was one option. However, given the length of the bridge; the signal-controlled intersections close to either side; and short downtown blocks, this option would cause considerable traffic disruption during peak hours and extend the duration of the project.

Closing the bridge completely for two weeks was another option but forcing all traffic (including emergency services) to detour, particularly at peak hours, would have considerable negative impact on the community.

The County selected the option of night closures to put residents first and offer the least amount of impact during construction.

Is the bridge still safe to use?

Yes. There is no risk to the public.

The day-to-day operational safety of the bridge is not affected by the failed expansion joints. The joints are not a structural load carrying element of the bridge. They allow for expansion and contraction, to provide a smooth transition for traffic crossing the bridge and to function properly as a protective barrier to prevent water from entering.

As required by Provincial regulations, the County completes biannual bridge inspections.

What is an expansion joint?

Expansion bridge joints create a gap at either end of the bridge deck to allow the bridge to expand and contract with temperature changes. 

The Campbellford Bridge has strip seal type joints that include a rubber seal between steel rails on each side of the of the joint. The seal prevents water from passing through the joint and damaging the bridge components below. The steel portions of the expansion joint assemblies also help to protect the ends of the concrete bridge deck from damage caused by vehicle traffic. When properly working and in good condition, the joints remain flush, reducing vehicle vibration and creating a smooth transition from the approach roadway to the bridge deck.

What happens if the joints are not replaced?

If the expansion joints are not replaced, increased vehicle noise will result and the concrete material around the joints will continue to deteriorate, weakening the anchorage of the joints. Water entering through the failed seals in the joints will also lead to corrosion of reinforcing steel and damage to the deck-ends and bridge substructure.

To prevent further damage and the potential of more costly and extensive construction work in the future, the expansion joints need to be replaced.

What is the status of the new Campbellford Bridge?

In 2017, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) approved the Environmental Assessment for the proposed bridge to be located between Second Street and Alma Street, approximately 450m downstream of the existing Bridge Street bridge, as well road network improvements.

In 2019, the County retained engineering services of GHD to complete the preliminary and detailed design for the project and an online public consultation was held in the Summer of 2020. An addendum to the Environmental Study Report was completed in March 2021 which updated the preferred solution to include a roundabout at Grand Road and Alma Street on the western side of the new bridge. The project is continuing with detailed design and with a second public consultation event is anticipated in late 2022.