Craigflower bridge

View Royal seeking dollars to replace Craigflower bridge

  • Mar. 17, 2011 8:00 a.m.

View Royal’s share of the cost to replace Craigflower bridge is far beyond what its tax base can support, says the town’s mayor.

“Relying on tax revenue, we’re not equipped to respond to major infrastructure projects like this,” said Graham Hill, mayor of the community of 8,000.

View Royal spent $20,000 for contractors to evaluate the bridge and has another $30,000 earmarked in its 2011 budget for repairs to the span. Saanich is also pouring money into 77-year-old bridge that connects the two municipalities.

But ultimately Craigflower bridge will need to be replaced in the next five years if it’s going to continue to carry the daily load it sees now — about 18,000 vehicles per day.

“The plan is to have it held together with chewing gum or whatever until we amass the fund to replace it,” Hill said at a recent council meeting where a motion was unanimously passed to ask the Capital Regional District to help fund the replacement project.

Hill said there will also be grant applications made to provincial and federal governments once design work is done and the project is “shovel ready.”

The existing 116 metre timber trestle built in 1933 carries two travel lanes, with narrow sidewalks on either side. A consultant proposed a $7 million replacement with three lanes (one in each direction, plus a southbound right-turn lane), bike lanes, sidewalks almost three times the current width, platforms for herring anglers and a possible wildlife viewpoint.

Councillors questioned if all the additions are necessary.

“We’re chasing very limited dollars in the region,” Coun. John Rogers said. “Could we do without the herring platform and viewpoint?”

Coun. David Screech also questioned the need for the third vehicle lane. Engineering director Emmet McCusker said the bridge is being designed to last 100 years and should account for future need.

“If we don’t three-lane it now, we’ll wish we did when it’s a source of bottleneck in a few years,” McCusker said.

McCusker also pointed out that herring anglers have a long tradition of using the bridge and the platforms will improve safety.

The cost of the structure will be split 50-50 between View Royal and Saanich, but each municipality will be responsible for road upgrades for the approaches in their borders ($400,000 for the View Royal side and $2.75 million for Sannich). The total bill for the project rings in at nearly $10.2 million.

The bridge, constructed and maintained by the provincial government until 1998, was known to be in need of replacement when it was “gifted” to municipalities, along with the rest of the old Island Highway network.

“What a gift!” View Royal Mayor Graham Hill said, chuckling. “Now we have to find a way to maintain it.”

news@goldstreamgazette.com

 

Just Posted

Greater Victoria enjoys sunny first day of spring

Summer-like temperatures of 21 degrees hit Wednesday for first day of spring

Bitter Saturna land-use dispute highlights legal grey areas

Unhappy Tsawout accuse leadership of cultural destruction

West Shore RCMP reminds vehicle owners to lock it or lose it

Numerous complaints of vehicles rifled through in View Royal

Spring break nature walks – get the kids out into nature!

Spring break, CRD Regional Parks naturalists are hosting three guided nature walks

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

View Royal council to discuss proposed 3.5% tax increase tonight

Budget open house to directly precede the council meeting

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

Volunteer green team joins forces to restore local habitats

Partnerships with schools educate and facilitate remediations

Most Read