The Old Trail Bridge has been closed to both foot traffic and vehicles since October.

The Old Trail Bridge has been closed to both foot traffic and vehicles since October.

Questioning Trail bridge costs

I just received the old bridge replacement survey and before anyone sends it in they should be asking for answers before it’s too late.

Questions:

• What is this bridge going to “actually” cost us? Paying $20 million to put a bridge in is one thing, but what is the total cost including interest paid? At 4.81 per cent over 30 years, $20 million can mean interest of plus or minus $22 million for a total of $42 million. My figures based on the city’s calculations of $1,400,000 per year multiplied by 30 years. See http://www.trail.ca/documents/bridge.options.1.pdf

The foot bridge costs (see http://www.trail.ca/documents/bridge.option.2_000.pdf) work out to $13.3 million including financing.

What about cost overruns? These could add another 10 per cent.

There is still no cost estimate given to demolish the old existing bridge. This can be substantial. If we don’t put in either bridge, the old one can sit for years.

Does the city even own the property on either side of the river?

Why does Trail need two bridges when other cities bigger than Trail get by with one?

Why are we going to now hire a “professional” to administer a structured survey if the response remains divided? Why don’t we just publish “complete” information showing the bridge costs (plus contingency), financing costs, old bridge demolition costs and then show what it may cost in annual taxes per $100,000 property value.

With proper and complete costing for the public, it wouldn’t take anything more than setting up a few booths around town manned by seniors or other groups and supply them with a simple petition to be filled in with name, address, etc. Even paying a service group to do this would at least be less costly and keep the money locally.

Why does the survey ask if they are a taxpayer or not? All that’s relevant is if they are a resident. Or is the objective of this to eliminate the non-taxpayer? All residents are going to be impacted by this either directly via taxes or indirectly via raised rents.

And one of the biggest questions of all “How has the lack of a second bridge over the last few months impacted you?”

And, if it did impact you at all, is it in your mind justified to pay $15 a month for the rest of your life to build another bridge?

Dale Evans, Trail