Courtenay council narrowly endorsed a resolution from Doug Hillian to support in principle a Sixth Street pedestrian/cycling bridge project, and to develop a Memorandum of Understanding with the bridge steering committee to facilitate the project.
Hillian believes the proposal has “widespread support” and could provide a key link in the city’s trail system. He said a nod of approval from council puts the committee in a position to raise funds for the anticipated $1.9 million cost of the project.
The bridge would be paid by fundraising and grants, not taxes.
“I think the rationale put forward is a good one,” Hillian said at Monday’s meeting. “I think there’s so many pluses with this proposal.”
The committee originally proposed a timber-framed bridge linking downtown with Simms Park. The new plan calls for a cable bridge with a wood deck.
“I think it would be fantastic,” Coun. Rebecca Lennox said.
Couns. Bob Wells and David Frisch also supported Hillian’s resolution. Couns. Erik Eriksson and Manno Theos, and Mayor Larry Jangula were opposed.
Theos and Jangula suggest a Fourth Street bridge that would link the Filberg Centre with Lewis Park might be a better location.
“I think that would have made tremendous sense,” Theos said.
Eriksson — who has advocated for a new Fifth Street bridge — suggested council take a “field trip” by walking around the bridge area before considering the resolution.