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UPDATE: Bridge upgrades approved

Overlanders Bridge should see major upgrades in 2015.
June 24, 2014 - 1:04 PM


KAMLOOPS - The entire Overlanders Bridge deck is set to be resurfaced in 2015 and council has agreed to tag on a multi-million dollar attached sidewalk project as well.

In January, council agreed to postpone the bridge construction in the hopes of saving funds by completing the two projects at the same time. The pedestrian sidewalk on the west side of the bridge was part of the original bridge structure and is already more than 50 years old.

The bridge deck was resurface 25 years ago but the sidewalk has only received limited replacement of sidewalk panels with little to no maintenance of the concrete corbels supporting the sidewalk span from underneath.

Three options were presented to council members Tuesday. The first is to completely remove the pedestrian sidewalk, still leaving the multi-use path on the east side, at a cost of $2.3 million. The second is to reconstruct the corbels and replace panels at a cost of $3.3 million. The final option is to remove and replace the concrete structure with a steel structure to the tune of $5.65 million.

“Leaving it is not an option,” Public Works Director Jen Fretz responded to Coun. Tina Lange’s suggestion to just use gates and razor wire to keep people off the dilapidated area. “We’ve had a number of issues with concrete falling… cyclists and pedestrians almost hit.”

Staff recommended option two, to be completed with the bridge resurfacing project next year. Though some council members first opted for the cheapest option in the name of saving money, and what they saw an underused redundancy they were quick to raise their hand in favour of the the second option by the time a vote was taken.

The sidewalk portion of the reconstruction will take approximately 100 days to complete, with the entire project set to take four to five months.

A borrowing bylaw in the amount of $9.42 million will now be brought forward.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infotelnews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

-This story was updated at 8:47 p.m., June 24 to include the decision from council.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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