Once every four years the citizens of Trail elect their mayor and council. To the best of their ability these elected individuals are charged with the fiduciary responsibility of running the city’s affairs and setting long term goals and policies.
The city has professional staff to assist council in the decision making process. Granted some of the decisions are routine in nature and are made after carefully reviewing all relevant information and input from the city’s staff.
Other decisions are far more complex and are beyond the expertise of both the council and staff. In these cases professional firms are hired to evaluate the existing conditions and make recommendations.
The Old Bridge is a case in point. Council and staff both recognized the limitations of their knowledge on the condition and longevity of the Old Bridge.
Hence professionals familiar with the style and age of the bridge were called in to evaluate and make recommendations on how to proceed. Their opinion was that the Old Bridge has arrived at the point where it was no longer safe. To make it safe a major and very expensive overhaul is required.
Based on similar information the Regional District and Fortis explored alternatives to the current location of their lines crossing the Columbia River. Coupled with this council decided to review alternatives, which would be an enhancement for all Trail citizens.
Hence the idea of a walking pedestrian bridge.
I do not have the required expertise to evaluate the safety nor the longevity of the Qld Bridge. In addition I do not have the expertise to know what to do to make it safe and I certainly do not know how to come up with the cost. I know my limitation. Like council I therefore leave it to professionals to determine both.
Having reviewed some of the available information and believing it is not worth spending funds to prolong the inevitable fate of the Old Bridge I am in favour of adding a pedestrian walkway to the new structure being built across the Columbia River.
Both current as well as future generations will benefit from this crossing.
I can imagine new walking trails on both sides of the river which tie themselves to a river crossing thereby enhancing the natural beauty of our area. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have one of the most beautiful walking/cycling river paths right here in Trail.