La Nation council was updated on June 28 about plans to rehabilitate the Touchette Bridge.

Following a recommendation from Director of Public Works Marc Legault, council approved switching engineering firms for the project. According to Legault, the previously selected firm did not have the capacity to do the work.

Out of five firms considered for the engineering work on the bridge, McIntosh-Perry scored second. Council consented to let Legault negotiate a cost with McIntosh-Perry. Legault will return to council with the proposal following the negotiations.

The 71-year-old bridge across the South Nation River is in need of immediate repair, but there is no current danger to motorists using the structure. In February 2021, La Nation council approved a $19,108.44 emergency repair project for the replacement of steel plates on the bridge.

“The bridge is not in danger of falling,” Legault told council on June 28.

He added that he has confidence in McIntosh Perry to do the engineering work for the future total rehabilitation project properly.

Rehabilitation of the Touchette Bridge is estimated to cost $2,508,000. In 2020, the federal and provincial governments announced a combined $2.1 million in funding for the project, with the remainder being provided by the municipality. As a condition of the funding, the work must be completed before October 2026.

Staying at 80

La Nation council has decided to keep the speed limit at 80 kilometres per hour on the Lafointaine Sideroad between County Road 3 and Doré Street.

The section of road forms the boundary between Casselman and La Nation. The Municipality of Casselman had wanted the speed limit reduced on the section of road from the present limit of 80 kilometres per hour.

Legault recommended not changing the speed limit because there are only two houses on the road, which are surrounded by vacant land. Legault stated perception and geography would not influence drivers to change their speed, and a lower speed limit could also give a false sense of security to cyclists and pedestrians.

The resolution adopted by La Nation council to keep the speed limit at 80 kilometres per hour suggests that the Municipality of Casselman add a sidewalk or paved shoulder to the east side of the Lafontaine Sideroad between County Road 3 and Doré Street to better accommodate cyclists and pedestrians.