Third Street Bridge Opening Delay

Missing Railings Delay Third Street Bridge Opening

The planned ribbon cutting marking the completion of the Third Street Bridge project this Friday has unfortunately been postponed because pedestrian safety railings have not arrived on site.

Aldo Paganelli, President of Toronto Zenith Contracting Limited (the General Contractor of the project), said today the railings (one of the last remaining elements of the project) have not been completed by the firm contracted to fabricate the rail.

“This is very rare for this fabricator,” Paganelli said. “We work with trusted, professional companies. We are extremely disappointed and as President of Toronto Zenith, the responsibility ultimately lies with me. I apologize to the citizens of Chatham-Kent. We will make this situation right.”

Paganelli said his firm is still investigating the issue and he is not willing to guarantee a new completion date until more information is available.

The railings in question go along the outside edges of the bridge providing pedestrian and vehicular safety. These are also the railings that will contain the new LED light (strips) within to shine onto the sidewalks as planned.

Without these railings the bridge cannot accommodate the public due to safety concerns as the provincial Ministry of Labour will continue to consider the bridge as an active construction site.

Chris Thibert, Chatham-Kent’s Director, of Engineering, said Toronto Zenith has been a model firm to work with throughout the project.

Toronto Zenith wasn’t made aware of any issue with the railings until the delivery dates were not being met.

“The railings were supposed to be delivered to the site early last week at the latest and installed just in time for this event this Friday,” he said. “They were committed to working diligently to get this done on time and open the bridge.”

Thibert said penalties associated with the non-completion of the project will begin this Friday.

“It is unfortunate that Toronto Zenith was let down in this fashion, but we have a responsibility to Chatham-Kent taxpayers to ensure that contracts are fulfilled,” he said.

Mayor Darrin Canniff said he is deeply disappointed that the ribbon-cutting ceremony is delayed.

“Through supply chain issues caused by COVID, through unexpected labour disruptions and other issues, the project has continued,” he said. “We are going to have a beautiful bridge that will last decades. I’m sorry we have to wait a while to have it completed, but we don’t live in a perfect world.”

The mayor urged citizens to attend the Saturday Bridgerama celebration being organized by the Historic Chatham Downtown BIA. “The organizers have put a lot of work into the event and it will be well worth the visit. There is a lot to see downtown.”

Bridgerama will begin Saturday, July 23 at 11:00 am. The event will feature entertainment, sales, arts and crafts, and stories through to 7:00 pm.

For more information about the event, visit

 For more information contact:

Chris Thibert, P.Eng.
Director, Engineering
Infrastructure & Engineering Services
Municipality of Chatham-Kent

Darrin Canniff
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
519-360-1998 x 3001

Jim Blake
Communications Officer
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
519-360-1998 x 3624