LETTER – Procrastination on bridge work is costing Courtenay residents millions

Dear editor,

Almost four years ago, the issue of painting the Fifth Street Bridge came before city council.

Around the same time, council was asked to look favourably on the idea of a pedestrian bridge at Sixth Street.

The estimated cost was $3 million each for a total of $6 million.

Also at the same time, a new bridge was being completed near Victoria called the Craigflower Bridge. Total cost for this bridge, which is four times longer than the Fifth Street Bridge, was $12 Million, all of which was funded from the gas tax.

I proposed that council have a look at the idea of replacing the Fifth Street Bridge with a Craigflower style bridge. One would think that since it was smaller, it would cost somewhat less.

(Save the paint, buy a new bridge says Eriksson – Feb. 26, 2015 Comox Valley Record)

Now, it looks like that to simply refurbish the bridge, it would have to be closed for six months and it would cost over $10 Million.

And we would still be left with an ancient bridge that does not meet today’s transportation standards.

It is an unsafe, outdated, hulking relic that no amount of paint can hide.

A new bridge would be like a breath of fresh air. You would be able to see that Lewis Park is actually connected to, rather than separated from, downtown Courtenay.

With the cost of the Craigflower Bridge as a guidepost, it would seem to be well worth it to have a brand new, safe, up to date, complete bridge that we can be proud of for many years to come.

Erik Eriksson,

Courtenay

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