A report to Langley City Council said the 45-year-old 206A Street pedestrian bridge is in “poor” shape and suggested the entire cost of a replacement could be covered by the federal-provincial COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream (CVRIS).
Rick Bomhof, City director of Engineering, Parks and Environment, said the current wood suspension bridge, installed in 1975, was inspected by an engineering consultant in 2019 who said it should be replaced within the next five years.
“In addition to its poor condition the existing bridge is only 1.2m wide which makes it difficult for cyclists, scooters and pedestrians with baby buggies to pass each other,” the Bomhof report noted.
If the money is available, the City will build a new three-metre wide steel bridge, similar to the last three replacement projects the City has completed, with a lifespan of approximately 75 years.
Bomhof said the entire $400,000 cost is eligible to be covered by the CVRIS, which required a council resolution to support and authorize the proposed project as part of the application.
There is sufficient contingency in the estimate “to ensure there is minimal risk of cost overruns,” the report said.
If the grant is not approved, the project will be designed as intended and construction can be planned for 2022, Bomhof added.
The proposal was unanimously approved at the Monday, Jan. 11 council meeting.
The province announced on Tuesday, Dec. 1 that local governments, First Nations communities, and not-for-profit groups are eligible for almost $136 million in funding through a federal-provincial partnership.
The program is designed to target projects starting before September 30, 2021 and completing by December 31, 2021.
“This new fund will create new opportunities for communities to build the infrastructure needed to help them respond to the challenges presented by COVID-19,” said Josie Osborne, B.C.’s Minister of Municipal Affairs. “The accelerated approval process is part of our efforts to support economic recovery for people and communities in B.C. by identifying projects for funding as early as spring 2021.”
About $80 million of the money will be handed out through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, and another $56 million will go for flood prevention projects under the umbrella of Emergency Management B.C.