Trail – City eyes Old Bridge fix more closely

Trail is putting together a comprehensive package that will lay out in full detail why the city doesn’t think it’s economically viable to invest into the Old Bridge.

“The public continues to suggest we should fix the bridge,” said city administrator David Perehudoff. “We feel we have to better express the condition of the bridge and what it takes to effectively replace it.”

This after the city already mailed out brochures laying out two replacement options – a two-lane vehicle crossing with a sidewalk or a pedestrian-only bridge.

About 800 residents have mailed in their responses clipped from a questionnaire and around 1,000 locals have completed an online survey available on the city’s website.

The general response is all – meaning support for the $20-million cost of a vehicle bridge – or nothing, with the majority of people still hopeful that there is some life left to the 100-year-old crossing.

“I grew up in Castlegar, moved away and came back to the area. The Old Bridge has always been here and I think people are sort of sad to think it’s done now,” said Perehudoff. “People just want us to give one more hard look at it.”

The Old Bridge was closed permanently in the fall after an inspection revealed significant deterioration of the steel shells surrounding its piers. Engineers have suggested that the bridge has reached its end of life, according to Perehudoff, who estimates that its would cost about $5 million to squeeze another 10 years of life out of it.

“Just to repair the piers alone it would cost an excess of $3 million. The other issue is the chords, which basically hold up the deck itself,” he said.

The new information to be presented at upcoming open houses will compare a short-term fix versus the long-term goal of a new bridge, fully laying out the costs associated.

Open houses will be held in council chambers April 4 and 21 from 3-7 p.m. For more information on the bridge, visit www.trail.ca