December 09, 2015 - 10:30 AM
KAMLOOPS - A section of the Rivers Trail directly underneath the Yellowhead Bridge will be permanently closed.
City staff recommended closing roughly 200 metres of trail because of erosion from water dripping off of the bridge. The current barricades and signage at the site of the washout are no longer sufficient and it has become a safety issue, parks director Byron McCorkell says.
Coun. Donovan Cavers believes because the erosion is from the bridge the Ministry of Transportation should be at least partially responsible for the maintenance of the trail.
McCorkell explains the land under the bridge is the property of the ministry and the city was given permission to build the trail under the structure. The ministry does not believe the erosion impacts the integrity of the bridge and the responsibility to maintain the trail is the city’s burden alone. He adds this was the way the bridge was meant to drain, with water running down the sides.
The city learned in 2014 it would cost $75,000 to repair the trail but it has been further damaged since and McCorkell estimates repairs will now be closer to $85,000 or $90,000. He wasn't able to provide council with exact figures at a council meeting this week, but said he believed the cost to decommission the trail was considerably lower because it would be a much smaller undertaking.
Coun. Dieter Dudy asked if city engineers could guarantee the same erosion problems wouldn’t happen again if repairs were undertaken, which McCorkell said is not likely because this is the natural way the bridge drains water.
Ultimately city council agreed to close the trail, with only Cavers objecting, yesterday, Dec. 8.
Image Credit: City of Kamloops
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