Bridge decision will dictate RDKB’s route for utility lines

The regional district is weighing its options when it comes to rerouting a regional sewer line that stretches across the Old Trail Bridge.

Since Trail’s second crossing is closed and the future of a new bridge is up in the air, while the city collects residential feedback, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) is looking into some preliminary options.

“We are kind of stuck with what the City of Trail does,” said Bryan Teasdale of the RDKB.

The regional sewer committee is looking at hanging the line off a potential new bridge; building a “pipe bridge,” which will suspend across the river without a bridge structure; or doing some directional drilling under the river.

Since details are fresh, costs are still being determined.

“We’re basically looking at a big, empty chalk board that we haven’t written on, yet,” said Teasdale.

Meanwhile FortisBC Gas has already decided to move its gas line, which is also fixed to the bridge, according to city foreman Warren Proulx.

“They’re not waiting for us because the gas line is very important for their distribution system,” explained Proulx, adding that the gas line will be moved to the Victoria Street Bridge.

“We advised Fortis that they should be getting the gas line off the bridge or shut it down in case something happens,” he said.

Trail has been working with both utility parties since the closure of the Old Bridge. The nearly 100-year-old bridge was closed permanently in the fall when a routine inspection determined that the structure had deteriorated to a point where it was no longer safe for traffic.

The city has been asking residents if they’d like to invest in a full replacement of the bridge, costing about $20 million, which works to a projected tax increase of $100 over the next 30 years for a $100,000 property; or a $6.5-million foot bridge, costing about $30 a year per $100,000 home.