Residents near the Nanaimo Avenue Bridge will not be getting a replacement this year.
Work on Penticton Creek’s naturalization over the summer will include the removal of the existing bridge.
The city announced that the bridge would be removed in January, with no plan at the time to replace the bridge.
Following feedback gathering by the city, council voted unanimously on April 20 to include a future bridge replacement as a consideration for a future budget.
The city received 244 survey responses, of which 75 per cent were from residents within walking or cycling distance of the bridge.
Many residents expressed concerns about traffic or safety following the removal of the bridge.
“I can understand the need to remove the bridge, but I also understand the connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists,” said Coun. Judy Sentes. “It is easier for a car to make an adjustment to a new route, it’s not that dramatic, but it can be if you’re counting steps.”
The Penticton Fire Department was consulted by the city and confirmed that there would be a minimal impact on their response time due to the elimination of the bridge.
The city is also working on an updated transportation master plan, which would consider traffic impacts and requirements for citizens throughout the city, including pedestrians, cyclists, bus users and vehicle owners that are expected to arrive before council next month.
Once that plan is brought to council, it will also include potential considerations for priority traffic improvements that may see the Nanaimo Avenue Bridge not be replaced even in the immediate future.
“I think this is an opportunity for us to say whether it’s worth the money or not, but the right to do that is when we do our budget when we have a list of items to prioritize,” said Coun. Campbell Watt.
The estimated cost of a replacement bridge would run from an estimated $150,000 to $200,000 which is not currently included in the city’s five-year financial plan.
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