Transportation plan does not include third bridge

Cost impacts would exceed benefits

File photo of 5th Street Bridge.

Last summer, Courtenay council removed a 21st Street bridge proposal from consideration in a draft transportation plan that is being developed. Council did so shortly after a presentation from the Courtenay Airpark Association, which said a bridge would destroy the park and make the Courtenay River inaccessible to float planes.

The need for an additional bridge garnered a variety of opinions from 1,000-plus Courtenay residents who provided feedback about transportation infrastructure. The feedback has helped prioritize recommendations for network improvements.

At its final meeting before Christmas, John Steiner of Urban Systems updated council on a long-term master plan (Connecting Courtenay) that considers all modes of transportation.

“Where do we stand now with this plan’s positions on a third crossing of the river?” Coun. Doug Hillian said. “And how big of a disconnect do we have between the views of people people like myself, who think that we shouldn’t build a third crossing on the Courtenay River, and a lot of our citizens who seem to want that?”

After considering many options, Urban Systems concluded that the cost impacts of a 23rd Street crossing would exceed the benefits by “some margin,” Steiner said.

“We think we can get more out of what’s there today through intersection improvements, and improvements to the approaches. We think that will help deal with some of the bottlenecks.”

Steiner expects the draft plan will be ready for council to review by March.


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