Concerns with Bruhn Bridge option

Proposed Main Street bridge may come with financial responsibilities for district.

I read with some consternation your lead article in the Sept. 7 issue of the Eagle Valley News (Province reveals options for Bruhn Bridge replacement) regarding the possibility of building a bridge at the west end of Main Street to cross the channel.

I have some serious misgivings about such a project and will below detail my misgivings:

1. The construction of the bridge would very likely wipe out the traffic circle and the intersection of Main Street and Riverside Avenue. This would result because in order for the bridge to have enough height for large boats to pass underneath during high water, the ramp to the bridge would have to start some distance down Main Street in order to maintain a manageable grade.

2. Rerouting the Trans-Canada Highway traffic onto Main Street and over this new, proposed bridge during construction of the main highway bridge would be a nightmare for people wanting to access and leave Askews, the post office, the District of Sicamous offices and Eagle River Secondary.  It would also be a hazard to those of us who walk or cycle on Main Street.

3. There is also some very important infrastructure under Main Street, namely the main sewer line that feeds into the waste-water treatment plant, which might not survive the six to 18 months that traffic,  especially heavy 18-24 wheelers,  is pounding over Main Street.

4. Having another bridge to maintain and, in 15-20 years to replace, is not a legacy I wish to leave to future councils or taxpayers.  I know all too well the struggles council has in trying to find the funds to replace the present Old Town-Solsqua bridge.

I do see on the plans that there is a possibility of adding a fifth lane to the new highway bridge which would serve the purpose of providing a “turning lane” for traffic onto Old Spallumcheen Road.  It would provide a safe exit for vehicles turning on to OSR and not burden the District of Sicamous with the problems noted above.

Therefore, like former Coun. John Schlosar, who is also a recovering municipal politician, I urge District of Sicamous council to engage the people of Sicamous and receive their feedback in regards to a safe and manageable access for the west side of Sicamous and beyond – one that does not place a financial burden on us and is also not a danger to users of our streets.

Fred Busch

 

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