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Cherubini Group of Dartmouth is building bridges with the City of Toronto in mind.
The Nova Scotia metal fabricator has the contract to build four steel bridges, costing a total of $100 million, for Toronto’s $1.25-billion Port Lands Flood Protection Project.
The 340-tonne, 57-metre-long, 21-metre-wide and 10.21-metre-high Cherry Street North transit bridge is being built at Cherubini’s facility in Burnside Industrial Park and will soon be put on a barge bound for Toronto. That bridge is slated for installation by late October or early November.
The bridge is engineered to accommodate light-rail transit, although there is not yet a transit line running into the Port Lands redevelopment.
After the Cherry Street bridge is put on its foundation, it is expected it will take three months to have the bridge welded into place.
Cherubini Group vice-president of sales and business development Troy Garnett says the construction of the four bridges is gaining a lot of attention, especially with the media in Toronto.
The local company has a reputation for handling difficult bridge construction projects, including the successful Big Lift renovation of the Macdonald bridge in Halifax.
The bridges for Toronto’s Port Lands redevelopment have been designed to be more than a practical part of allowing people ease of movement throughout the city. With a special paint job, to accentuate the artistically pleasing design of the bridges, the water crossings are to be considered show points for the entire redevelopment project.
It includes the Don River mouth diversion project. Three new outflows will replace the single outlet, which restricted water flow. The resulting buildup of sediment and debris was a frequent cause of flooding in the area.
The three new outflows required the creation of multiple new bridge crossings. More traffic will be brought to the Toronto Port Lands area as it grows into a planned destination attraction.
With sewer, water and natural gas services being brought to the Port Lands, Waterfront Toronto expects the project to become a catalyst for more redevelopment on Toronto’s waterfront. The new bridge crossings will allow people to access Villiers Island via three north-south bridges across Cherry Street and an east-west bridge at Commissioners Street, crossing the Don River.
The latest update on the project from Waterfront Toronto indicates that excavation in the first section of a new river valley is nearly complete and the foundations of the future Cherry Street Bridge have been completed.
The four bridges Cherubini is building are the first of a total of seven bridges, which have been planned for the east Toronto waterfront area.
So far, Cherubini only has the contract to build the first four bridges for the Port Lands, but there are plans for three more bridge crossings as part of the redevelopment. The three additional bridges are merely proposed at this stage, and it is not yet certain that Cherubini will be fabricating those, as well.
The second bridge will be the four-span Commissioners Street bridge, which will be built in two sections. It will be 153 metres long once installed, 53 metres wide, 10.16 metres high and weigh 1,210 tonnes.
It has been reported that the cantilever section of the Commissioners Street bridge was supposed to arrive this year but that it won’t be able to traverse the St. Lawrence Seaway before it closes for winter. Therefore, that bridge will be put in place sometime next year.