The County of Haliburton is replacing the worn down 94-year-old Little Hawk Lake Road bridge in Algonquin Highlands after confirming over $1.8 million in funding for the project.
Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott announced the province would commit $750,587 to the project June 1, representing one-third of the approximately $2.252 million total cost.
The county anticipates the federal government will cover half the funding at approximately $1.126 million.
The single-lane bridge was last rehabilitated in 1993 and has an average of 230 vehicles per day.
However, the county said it has significantly deteriorated. The load restriction also prevents firetrucks from crossing, requiring them to take a 12-kilometre detour.
“We really need it,” Warden Liz Danielsen said. “We can get firetrucks over the bridge, the plows can travel easier, quite a bit better water flow here. It helps in so many ways to get this project done.”
Scott said this was a major priority.
“The bridge is desperate, it had to be replaced. It’s very hard for small municipalities to do all the projects that they have to do,” she said. “Haliburton County has been asking for help for several years because it is a large amount of money. Two million makes a big difference for a budget of this size.”
The new bridge will remain single-lane but be widened to better accommodate plows.
The structure will also be elevated by half a metre to provide for greater water capacity beneath it.
“It really is such an important part of our sustainability,” county chief administrative officer Mike Rutter said.
The federal government has not yet confirmed its contribution to the work but Scott said she expects their funding will come soon.
The county plans to tender the replacement structure in the summer, with construction taking place in the fall.
“I’ve crossed this bridge all my life. I know we have very big routes in this part of Haliburton County,” Scott said. “I’ll feel more secure when we get a new bridge.”