It has been a long time since I wrote a letter to the editor but I cannot sit back and watch the City of Trail proceed with a “walking bridge” without going to their citizens with a referendum one more time.
Council has, on one occasion, approached the people who voted down a regular traffic bridge. Yet, council went to referendum a number of times over our library when each of those referendums indicated that the citizens of Trail were fully supportive of a new library.
I believe council should now approach the people for their opinion on what type of bridge they want to have. There seems to be three options:
• demolition of the old bridge and construction of a pedestrian footbridge and sewer line
• maintaining the old bridge as for pedestrian use only
• renovating the old bridge for both pedestrian and vehicle use (perhaps restricted to light traffic or emergency only traffic.
Is the old bridge really a total write off and in no way fixable? There are some very old bridges that still being used safely today. Have the expert engineers said that this bridge cannot be fixed and is totally unusable?
With all the industrial-based companies on the west side of the Columbia River (Castlegar to Trail) and the regional hospital on the east side, at a minimum we should be ensuring that there is an alternate crossing for emergency vehicles. Is it really too unlikely that the Victoria St Bridge to become impassable at a time when people might need it the most?
What is the detailed logic behind the argument that the old bridge absolutely cannot be used again opened to traffic (even if it is restricted to light or emergency only vehicles). What would the cost to the taxpayers be to have this bridge reopened? Would this option truly be over the $20 million mentioned in Mr. Gabana’s letter to the editor on April 22?
I and many other that I have spoken to, would like this bridge dilemma to go to referendum indicating the three above options before any decisions are made.