Others should chip in for new bridge

Re: Craigflower bridge to be replaced in 2012, News, Sept. 16, 2011.

Re: Craigflower bridge to be replaced in 2012, News, Sept. 16, 2011.

Why is Esquimalt not paying for the new bridge taking Admirals Road across the Gorge waterway?  Esquimalt gets the most benefit from the bridge, which especially helps the navy base they get tax-equivalent money from, as well as benefitting from business and residential taxes they wouldn’t get without the base.

Most of the heavy trucks I’ve reminded Saanich engineers of are servicing the navy base and Slegg lumber.

People in First Nations lands get great benefit from the bridge, which provides easy access for residents and businesses operating on their land.

View Royal gets a benefit in easy access to the businesses they tax on Admirals Road.

To me the bridge is part of a highway used by people from many fiefdoms to get to jobs at the navy base and commercial dockyards — shouldn’t the provincial government be contributing?

The bridge is used by Saanich students going to Shoreline middle school in View Royal and Esquimalt and First Nations students going to Craigflower elementary school. Wouldn’t the existing bridge carry the weight of students, other pedestrians, and bicyclists for many years to come?

If Saanich really wants the bridge, a proper contribution from Esquimalt, First Nations, View Royal and the province would allow building it to proper width and alignment for a long future. Otherwise vehicle tolls should be put on it to obtain funds to do the job right. The current plan of Saanich and View Royal is not fair to Saanich taxpayers.

Keith Sketchley

Saanich