The public is invited to vote on their favourite name for the new pedestrian/pipe bridge online via the City of Trail’s website.
A select committee of 11 community-minded individuals was tasked with sifting through 88 submissions and picking their Top 10, which were then graded on a regressive scale to give the public its contenders.
Columbia Crossing, Columbia River Crossing, Columbia Skywalk, Columbia River Skywalk, Silver City Connector, Silver City Bridge and Silver City Suspension Bridge appear on the city’s survey that went live Friday and is open for public input until Feb. 29. The city has already received 500 completed surveys and Andrea Jolly, communications and events coordinator, expects them to keep rolling in. The three most popular names will later be presented to council for final consideration at its March 14 council meeting.
“I think that people are actually realizing that this is coming to fruition,” said Jolly. “There is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
The consultation process started with submissions that in the end categorized as historical/cultural, representative of person/people or a group, regional/geographical, other and joke.
“I was impressed with some of the ones that had historical significance to them,” said Jolly. “I even was thinking, ‘Wow, that’s a great educational piece for myself and others.’ And it was obvious people actually went in and did some research and looked up historical facts about the people who perhaps settled here originally.”
Those submissions included not so well known historical figures like Ginger Goodwin, a famous union organizer who led the first strike at Cominco Nov. 15, 1917, demanding the enforcement of an eight-hour day, to well-known community icon Seth Martin, who backstopped the Trail Smoke Eaters to the 1961 world hockey championship.
“I think I was expecting a few humorous ones, but we did receive six that were sort of made in jest or as a joke,” added Jolly. “Some people were trying to express their disappointment with the project going forward, or some people were trying to express that they prefer a vehicle bridge and some people were just trying to be funny.”
Jolly is referring to the “joke” bridge name proposals from Should Have Been a Two Lane to Costalot to The Crapper Crossing.
The select committee included Trail Mayor Mike Martin and council, Rossland and Warfield mayors (and council), Dieter Bogs (former Trail mayor), Jamie Forbes of the Trail Historical Society and Trail Times’ editor Guy Bertrand. Individuals gravitated toward geographical ties, specifically favouring name proposals that included the Columbia River or the Silver City. The short list was supposed to include five options but in the end, council decided to let residents settle a tie and even came up with a “blended” option, Columbia River Skywalk, expanding the list to a total of seven possibilities.
“I think council was impressed that so many people took part in the call for names, and they were happy to see that the people they chose to sit on the committee took an interest in participating as well,” added Jolly. “It has been quite a lengthy process but council wanted to make sure that it’s the right name that truly identifies the structure.”
Now the choice goes back to the public, who is invited to take the survey on the city’s website under “News and Public Notices,” or visit city hall to complete a hard copy.