Councillor shares pipe bridge dream

Trail is exploring a potential partnership between its regional sewer cohorts – Rossland and Warfield.

Trail is exploring a potential partnership between its regional sewer cohorts – Rossland and Warfield – that could knock off up to three beneficial projects at once.

While the sewer committee has yet to decide the best method to rerouting the regional sewer line that currently is attached to the condemned Old Trail Bridge, city councillor Fred Romano is asking his partners at the regional table to look through a wider scope.

The committee is currently exploring three sewer line relocation options – hanging the line off a potential new bridge, building a pipe bridge that will suspend across the river without a structure or doing some directional drilling under the river – and Trail council has made it clear it supports the approximate $2 million pipe bridge.

“The pipe bridge option to me is the most reasonable one in that at least it is above ground and not under the river, it’s easy to maintain and we have easy access to it if anything were to happen,” said Romano

Beyond considering Trail’s preferred option, he has asked his partners at the sewer committee table to support the attachment of a city water line to the pipe bridge or even consider a pedestrian and bike walkway.

Trail council received a report last week from its engineering department on a recently completed water distribution study that suggests a second water line crossing the Columbia River would benefit the city.

Trail looked at a pipe bridge proposal about four years ago that would get a waterline from the pump house in Sunningdale over to Tadanac but the approximate $6 million project never came to fruition.

“The city realizes that we only have one water system that goes under the new bridge that feeds West Trail,” explained Romano. “To loop the city, we need another line that goes across at a different location so this would be ideal.”

Trail is only asking that Rossland and Warfield share the cost of rerouting the regional sewer line and will pick up the bill for any remaining work that moves forward.

FortisBC Gas has already moved its gas line that was also fixed to the old bridge.

This was after a routine inspection in the fall determined that the structure had deteriorated to a point where it was no longer safe for traffic.

While the city decided not to replace the bridge after council considered feedback from a consultation process and the $20 million price tag, Romano admits a pedestrian walkway is not an idea that has completely vanished but more work on feasibility and costing needs to be done.

The regional sewer committee awaits an updated report on moving the line before it makes a final decision.