City of Courtenay hosts 5th Street Bridge open house

The City of Courtenay is planning to rehabilitate the Fifth Street Bridge in 2021, including upgrades to cycling and pedestrian connections across the Courtenay River. Public and stakeholder engagement is starting this fall and will continue throughout the project.

The public is invited to a drop-in style open house to learn more about the project on Thursday, Nov. 21 from 5–7 p.m. at the Filberg Centre, lower level Rotary Hall. The public can review project plans, speak with project staff, and provide feedback about what is important to consider as the City plans for ways to mitigate impacts wherever possible during construction.

For those who cannot make the open house, the same information will be available online. Feedback can be provided through an online survey at www.courtenay.ca/fifthstreetbridge until Friday, Dec. 6.

Public input and technical analysis will inform the traffic management plan and construction methodology to be recommended to Courtenay council early in 2020.

The rehab work will include a new bridge deck, repairing structural steel deck beams, new hand rails, removing lead paint and rust, recoating the steel structure, new road markings, and replacing sidewalks with three-metre wide multi-use pathways. A new coating will protect the bridge from rust and corrosion, and improve its appearance. Dedicated multi-use pathways on both sides of the bridge will improve safety, accessibility and user experience for people who walk, bike, use strollers or have mobility aids. Additional cycling and pedestrian amenities will improve connectivity across the river, access to downtown, and help accommodate continued growth in the number of people who walk and cycle in Courtenay.

The final design of the bridge, as well as project sequencing, staging and schedule are being refined over the coming months. Timed with the next report to council in early 2020, staff will also provide an update on options for a multi-use crossing at Sixth Street.

Senior governments are providing a combined $1,964,932 in funding for the project through the New Build Canada – Small Communities Fund. The total project budget is estimated at $8.3 million. The City continues to seek additional grant funding opportunities to help offset project costs.

Stay informed about the Fifth Street Bridge rehabilitation project by subscribing to the project e-newsletter or visit the project page at www.courtenay.ca/fifthstreetbridge

Additional facts:

• Bridge inspections are conducted regularly to assess bridge condition.

• The last major rehabilitation work was completed in 2012. It included seismic upgrades and the application of a corrosion-resistant coating to the underside of the bridge. The project also replaced areas of damaged concrete along with bridge deck maintenance and sealing.

•An estimated 20,000 vehicles, 650 walking, and 500 cycling trips are made across the bridge daily.

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