Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Craigflower Bridge

So the word is out that the Craigflower Bridge is coming to the end of its life.   The bridge was built in 1933 and certainly is showing some age.   The current estimates of a repair job would only give the bridge another 15 years.

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Looking at the bridge, it is narrow for the sort of current traffic using it and the sidewalks are not adequate for what they are used for.   This is hardly a safe bridge to cycle over.

A new bridge is estimated to cost in the range of $10 million.   This being a very early estimate, it should be taken with a grain of salt.   I suspect $15 to $20 million is much more likely what the final cost will be for the bridge.   Keep in mind there is no design to work from and no real details on the work needed to be done on the approaches.   If we assume this is a Class D estimate, then the number we are looking at is only indicating the order of magnitude of the project and nothing that one could budget with at this time.

Personally I would love to see a four lane bridge in this location with Admirals being four lanes all the way through to Hwy #1, but given the current mood in greater Victoria, I do not see that happening.  I expect the replacement will be the same capacity as the current bridge.  

There is also a problem on the Saanich side with expanding the road because of the location of the Craigflower school and the old Craigflower schoolhouse that already is too close to the edge of the road

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I would love to see any new bridge include some fishing stations on it.   The Craigflower bridge is a popular location for people to fish from, we should accommodate that activity.

Interestingly Saanich is referring to this as a regional project and one that needs federal gas tax funding.   Given that no one came to the table for the Johnson Street Bridge, based on traffic a much more important regional bridge, why should anyone come to the table for this bridge?

Since I am in the neighbourhood, Saanich should do more to encourage swimming and boating from Craigflower Park.    Given that this location has some of the cleanest water around, it would be nice if there was a formal swimming area with a float anchored in the water.   Our kids need to get out of the pools and and swim in real water.
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