The Fifth Street Bridge was constructed in 1960. An AAP to measure public support for borrowing funds to rehabilitate the crossing is underway. File photo

The Fifth Street Bridge was constructed in 1960. An AAP to measure public support for borrowing funds to rehabilitate the crossing is underway. File photo

Courtenay launches AAP for Fifth Street Bridge rehabilitation

An Alternative Approval Process (AAP) is underway in Courtenay to measure public support for borrowing funds to rehabilitate the Fifth Street Bridge. The bridge requires structural improvements, new coating to repair and prevent corrosion, and deck repairs. In order to proceed with construction in 2021, Courtenay will need to borrow $3.4 million.

“The Fifth Street Bridge is a key link in the transportation network for the City of Courtenay, and the entire Comox Valley and beyond,” said Mayor Bob Wells. “There’s no doubt the construction phase will be challenging for the community, and we’re doing everything we can to reduce impacts as much as possible during construction. The work is absolutely necessary to protect and extend the lifespan of the bridge for the lowest overall long-term cost.”

The Fifth Street Bridge was constructed in 1960. The last significant investment in the bridge, including seismic upgrading, was in 2012. Engineers specializing in bridge construction and rehabilitation have determined the bridge has not yet reached the end of its useful life, and rehabilitation is necessary to preserve its integrity and prevent deterioration. Also, repair is much more cost effective than full replacement, and will take a shorter time period and cause less disruption.

Active construction is planned to start in spring 2021, and is expected to take approximately six months. Traffic management planning is underway to determine the most efficient and safe options for the travelling public during construction.

Total project costs are estimated at $6.3 million. The project will be funded through a combination of $1.96 million in grant funding, $0.94 million in reserves, and the remaining $3.4 million in borrowing. Annual debt servicing costs for this project are estimated at $233,293 over 20 years. The impact to the average residential property would be approximately $13 per year.

The number of eligible Courtenay electors has been determined to be 20,162. Council may proceed with borrowing unless at least 10 per cent, or 2,017, of electors submit elector response forms declaring their opposition to borrowing prior to the deadline on Nov. 16 at 4:30 p.m.

Elector response forms are available online at www.courtenay.ca/aap or at the Courtenay City Hall main entrance during business hours, 830 Cliffe Ave. To have a paper copy of the form mailed to you, call (250) 334-4441 or email info@courtenay.ca.

Once completed, signed elector response forms may be deposited in the Courtenay City Hall mail slot to the right of the main entrance doors, or submitted by mail to the City of Courtenay, 830 Cliffe Ave., Courtenay, V9N 2J7, or by email to info@courtenay.ca. Completed, signed forms must arrive by the Nov. 16, 2020 deadline. The postmark will not be accepted as the submission date.

To learn more about the Fifth Street Bridge project, visit www.courtenay.ca/fifthstreetbridge

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