Province presents bridge study to Coun­cil

Move­able bridge seen as pre­ferred op­tion

The Victoria Standard - - Front Page - AN­DREW BROOKS

In an in­for­ma­tion ses­sion to Vic­to­ria County Coun­cil last week, the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion and In­fra­struc­ture Re­newal (DTIR) pre­sented a study on pos­si­ble types of bridges that could re­place ex­ist­ing English­town and Lit­tle Nar­rows fer­ries. The study, con­ducted by Hal­i­fax-based bridge con­sult­ing firm COWI, was de­signed to sur­vey height re­quire­ments for wa­ter-based traf­fic in each lo­ca­tion and de­ter­mine what kinds of bridges could meet those needs. Three op­tions for each lo­ca­tion were ex­am­ined: a move­able bridge, a high- and a low-level fixed bridge. In both places, the low-level fixed bridge was re­moved from con­sid­er­a­tion be­cause it would not al­low for tall-masted ves­sels to pass through the chan­nels. While the high-level fixed bridge de­sign would re­quire the least amount of long-term main­te­nance, it would also re­quire the most amount of pri­vate land to be dis­turbed and

the great­est amount of in­fra­struc­ture to be built. “If you have a bridge that raises, you ef­fect less of the on­shore ap­proaches to the bridge, whereas if you have a bridge that has to be very high, you have to backup on­shore for the ramps and you ef­fect more of the prop­er­ties,” ex­plained Deputy Min­is­ter Paul Le­fleche. The pre­ferred op­tion in both lo­ca­tions there­fore, is the move­able or ‘bas­cule’ bridge be­cause it can ac­com­mo­date all ver­ti­cal clear­ance re­quire­ments, says Dr. Am­jad Me­mon, Man­ager of Struc­tural Engi­neer­ing Ser­vices, and lead tech­ni­cal pre­sen­ter at the meet­ing. Asked if a bridge that opens or swings would not cause sim­i­lar de­lays as the ex­ist­ing fer­ries, Dr. Me­mon ex­plained that the kind of mod­ern move­able bridges that would be built could open and close in ap­prox­i­mately a minute. Al­though that es­ti­mate does not in­clude the time it would take for boat traf­fic to pass through, Paul Lafleche, Deputy Min­is­ter of Trans­porta­tion and In­fra­struc­ture Re­newal, was quick to point out that the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of boats could pass un­der the fixed por­tion of the bridges with­out the need to open the bas­cule. Pam Eyk­ing, MLA for Vic­to­ria-the Lakes, along with Lafleche had called the meet­ing to bring the Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil up to speed and see where Coun­cil­lors sat on the is­sue. War­den Bruce Mor­ri­son made the Coun­cil’s po­si­tion clear. “It’s great in­for­ma­tion, but it doesn’t an­swer the ques­tion, ‘are we get­ting a bridge?’ A bridge is the only op­tion that we’re in­ter­ested in in both lo­ca­tions. That’s what res­i­dents have been telling us and that’s what coun­cil­lors have been telling the province.” Con­struc­tion and main­te­nance costs for an English­town bridge would cost $24.7 mil­lion while a sim­i­lar Lit­tle Nar­rows move­able bridge would re­quire $34.2 mil­lion. How the struc­tures would be funded was not part of the scope of the study. Eyk­ing says public meet­ings will be held at a later date to present the study to stake­hold­ers and dis­cuss the pos­si­bil­ity of tolls on the bridges be­ing col­lected to par­tially pay for the projects. The re­port will now go to the DTIR Min­is­ter for ap­proval, then a case needs to be made for fi­nanc­ing that would even­tu­ally wind up at trea­sury for ap­proval.

Draw­ing cour­tesy of Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion and In­fra­struc­ture Re­nen­wal / COWI

A tech­ni­cal draw­ing of 'Op­tion 1: Move­able or 'Bas­cule' bridge' in the English­town Bridge Study re­leased last af­ter be­ing pre­sented to the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Vic­to­ria County Coun­cil. A move­able bridge is in­di­cated as the pre­ferred op­tion in both English­town and Lit­tle Nar­rows to re­place the ex­ist­ing fer­ries.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.