IRENE MONROE ON JOHNSON STREET’S “BLUE BRIDGE”: ‘We don’t need to junk it just because we can get some federal money.’

JOHNSON STREET BRIDGE

QUESTIONS

 

Victoria City Council says it will spend $840,000 for more study of the Blue Bridge replace/refurbish dilemma.

This is in addition to the $919,000 already spent on the biased pro-replacement studies.

This newest whack of money will include about $400,000 “to develop detailed designs and technical consulting work on refurbishment.”

Why wasn’t this a consideration in Mayor Dean Fortin’s previous comparison exhorting us all to get behind that great deal of a replacement bridge?

Fortin says that this spending on refurbishment option costs will “nail down the economic impact potential on closing the bridge or lane closures on our downtown.”

Don’t we have the Bay Street Bridge still in operation?

Don’t we have land closures somewhere in Victoria most of the time?

Victoria citizens are very clever at getting around using alternative roads and methods, trust us.

“City engineers say if Council doesn’t do something about the bridge by 2012, it may have to consider closing it.”

How do City engineers come to such a draconian conclusion about a heretofore completely safe bridge that has been given very little maintenance?

Any second options considered?

Finally, about a year ago a glossy flyer came in the mail from our mayor cheerfully urging us to “Pick the bridge of our choice.”

Which of the three bridges was our favourite design?

I wondered if mechanical engineers might be better suited to make that decision based on the structural design, rather than on looks.

Why not spend the money on the Blue Bridge itself — where did all that $919,000 from the previous study go, if not to make a prudent assessment?

Fortin has put the cart before the horse here with the Blue Bridge, and now we’re backing up and doing what should have been done before.

If the Blue Bridge had been given proper maintenance over the years, it might be in better shape than it is now, but we don’t need to junk it just because we can get some federal money.

Irene Monroe

Victoria

 

CCC BLOG reprint:

Victoria News: http://www.vicnews.com

Questions still centre around bridge

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Page A9

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