Pedestrian bridge plans taking shape

Construction expected to begin in about nine months.

In about nine months time, there’ll be signs of new life along Riverside Avenue when construction for the Columbia River crossing is expected to break ground.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the city plans to put the $10 million pedestrian/pipe bridge project to tender this spring, and award the contract by the middle of May.

“The delayed construction start will allow the contractor the necessary lead time to order material and get it on site,” explained David Perehudoff, Trail’s chief administrative officer (CAO), to council Wednesday night. “Particularly the massive cables that will carry a lot of the load.”

The city has been advised that suspension cables will take at least four months to be fabricated, he said, noting the timing works well with regard to the river’s levels.

“With high water, construction will not start until September, when the water comes down,” Perehudoff added.

In the meantime, terms for the sewer agreement between Trail, Warfield and Rossland are being finalized at the regional level alongside fine details for the maintenance of the pipe bridge utility line.

As far as the process goes, the agreements are between Trail and the regional district, said Perehudoff, adding that the documents will be advanced to Trail council and the regional sewer committee for approval, Warfield and Rossland do not have to sign off.

Coun. Sandy Santori, an appointee to the council’s newly formed bridge committee, says the role he and Coun. Kevin Jolly will play in keeping other councillors and the public up-to-date on the project includes reviewing tender documents and ensuring the project is on time and on budget once the construction begins.

“It’s not unusual to have a committee on a major project,” said Santori. “We keep everyone apprised and ensure that processes are in place and we bring any issues that may pop up back to council and the public.”

He supports assigning a few members of council on a small committee for the city’s large and costly projects.

“What you don’t need to have at all times is every council member being involved in that particular committee,” Santori noted. “Because they all have an opportunity for comment and for input when we report back with certain issues and updates.”

Based on the multimillion-dollar cost of bridge construction that includes a walking deck, a new East Trail water line, as well as the sewer interceptor pipe, Rossland will contribute $1 million toward the service; Warfield $527,000; and Trail, $2.6 million as a regional entity entity plus $6.2 million directly.

While those costs were agreed upon last October, the operation and maintenance agreement continues to be a work in progress.

“In investigating the way forward we determined that we would have to take an ownership position in the project and allow us to borrow the required funds,” wrote John MacLean, CAO for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary in a report to staff. “And to formalize that we have been working on a formal funding contribution agreement.”

While both agreements were under review by the city, there was little concern with the maintenance agreement, other than insurance cost apportionment.

However, MacLean, confirmed on Monday, he is hoping to have both agreements on the board’s agenda by month end.