The 5th Street Bridge will be repaired next year. File photo

The 5th Street Bridge will be repaired next year. File photo

Former Courtenay councillor suggests waiting a year to repair bridge

In the opinion of a former member of Courtenay council, a year’s postponement of the 5th Street Bridge rehabilitation project would be a good idea.

Erik Eriksson suggests that some downtown businesses — already impact by the coronavirus pandemic — may not recover when the bridge closes for six months next summer.

“This would be very bad for our downtown, which is the heart of our community,” Eriksson said in an Oct. 19 presentation to council. “You need a flourishing downtown.”

He said postponing the project for another year could allow time to forge partnerships and spread the cost with the rest of the Comox Valley, and afford a chance to better explore the cost benefit of a new bridge.

“With all the talk of senior governments promoting infrastructure development as a COVID economic recovery plan, there might be a possibility of accessing funding.”

Eriksson also suggests a mailed Elector Response Form — as opposed to the Alternative Approval Process — would garner a fair representation of the opinion of Courtenay electors to authorize a borrowing bylaw.

READ: Courtenay launches AAP for Fifth Street Bridge rehabilitation

He argues that voters may not know the AAP process is happening.

He said residents might be opposed to the authorization for a number of reasons:

1. They might want to support protecting the downtown by causing a postponement of the project;

2. They might not think it is fair that only Courtenay taxpayers have to pay for the bridge;

3. They might think it is a better idea to replace the bridge entirely.

Mayor Bob Wells said council faces some “massive challenges” if the project is further delayed. He also notes the City has received extensions on grant funding — which would be lost if the project were postponed or cancelled.

“We’ve been told there is no further funding for this, because we’ve already been approved,” Wells said, noting costs continue to rise the longer the project is delayed. “I think the time for delay, unfortunately, is not now.”

He said it’s time to either repair or replace the bridge — and the City does not have the funds for the latter option.

Coun. Doug Hillian noted that the bridge will not be closed but will have a single lane open during construction.

The Fifth Street Bridge was constructed in 1960. The last significant investment in the bridge, including seismic upgrading, was in 2012.

READ: Rehabilitation of Courtenay bridge on track to begin next spring

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Baynes Sound Connector leaves Denman Island en route to Buckley Bay. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Baynes Sound Connector undergoing upgrades

The MV Quinitsa is providing service between Buckley Bay and Denman Island

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

Erin Chan accepted her prize of a Staycation at The Kingfisher valued at $500, for winning the  Discover Comox Valley Vacation Guide Photo Contest. Photo by Nicole Fowler
Winner announced in Discover Comox Valley Vacation Guide Photo Contest

Erin Chan has been named the grand prize winner of the Discover… Continue reading

Three Legged Dog Productions performed Jesus Christ Superstar in 2019. Tim Penney photo
Non-profit plans musical renaissance in the Comox Valley

A non-profit society hopes to keep musical theatre alive this summer in… Continue reading

The development permit application is for the back of a property at 2522 Dunsmuir Ave. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Privacy, heritage reasons for secondary house denial in Cumberland

Majority of council wants to see something more in line with Camp Road’s character

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The Connect Warming Centre has been operating as an emergency overnight shelter in recent weeks. File photo
Grant funds would provide urgent, temporary support to homeless in Comox Valley

At its April 13 meeting, the Comox Valley Regional District board agreed… Continue reading

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

The 5th Street Bridge Project, which began April 14, is expected to take 6 months to complete. Scott Stanfield photo
5th Street Bridge Project begins in Courtenay

The 5th Street Bridge rehabilitation project began Thursday in Courtenay. The $6.5… Continue reading

Most Read