Next week, pedestrian access across the 5th Street Bridge will shift from the current sidewalk to a dedicated pedestrian corridor on the south side of the bridge deck.
Cyclists may dismount and walk their bikes down the new corridor, or may choose to follow the detour route in the priority vehicle lane and ride across the bridge.
The pedestrian corridor will replace the previously announced temporary scaffold walkways as it has been determined this option will not be feasible due to the intricacies of the scaffold system.
Mayor Bob Wells said that maintaining safe access for pedestrians is an essential component of the project.
“Using the bridge deck for pedestrians was in the original transportation strategy for this project,” said Wells. “The city’s top priority during planning and construction has been keeping this bridge crossing open for commuters. While this is an active construction zone, we know the 5th Street Bridge is an integral link in our transportation network and a key gateway to downtown Courtenay, so we’re doing everything we can to keep as many people moving across as possible.”
The corridor will be installed the week of June 7. It will be 1.5 metres wide – the width of a standard sidewalk – for the full length of the bridge. The pedestrian corridor may shift during future phases of the work.
In addition, scaffolding installation has progressed to the top of the bridge, with clearance reduced to 3.6 metres. All overheight vehicles must now detour via alternate routes.
“Anyone with a camper or other tall vehicle must ensure they are within the 3.6 metre overhead clearance. Any vehicle above that height can no longer use the 5th Street Bridge and must use a different route until the scaffolding is removed,” advised Wells. “We’re very mindful of the many crew members working within this scaffolding, and protecting their health and safety is paramount.”
The protective wrap around the scaffolding will be installed by mid-June, at which time removal of lead paint can safely begin.
Any change to traffic patterns is an adjustment for commuters. The public should remain mindful of directional signage, and other bridge users during this transition.
The 5th Street Bridge Project prioritizes maintaining access for all modes of transportation, including people who drive, walk, cycle, and take transit. $700,000 was included in the project budget to keep the bridge open to all modes of traffic during construction.
For more information, and to subscribe to updates via email, visit www.courtenay.ca/5thstreetbridge