The City of Penticton is seeking the public’s input on future options before the removal of the Nanaimo Avenue Bridge, located at Nanaimo Avenue East and Van Horne Street.
The bridge must be taken down as it is nearing the end of its lifespan and poses a flood risk during high water events along Penticton Creek, according to the city. It will be removed in July 2021.
Once the bridge is removed, there are currently no plans to replace it. The city is interested in receiving comments about the bridge’s removal and suggestions for the future, including options to “restore and naturalize the area.”
Residents are encouraged to visit shapeyourcitypenticton.ca to comment in a feedback form and review additional information. Those who prefer to fill out a paper copy can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request the form.
After a 2017 study to examine the condition of Penticton Creek, including its capacity to convey high freshet water flows and facilitate the passage of fish, the bridge was identified as having limited clearance. This would lead to challenges in terms of capacity and debris accumulation, which could cause flooding and threaten properties, according to Penticton’s city engineer Ian Chapman.
A 2020 traffic impact study reviewed the surrounding area for access points, collected data on traffic volumes, pedestrian use, and evaluated the impact on emergency response times and potential risks to the community if the bridge were removed.
It was concluded that there would not be a significant adverse impact if the bridge was taken down because alternative routes exist in and out of the area for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.
The necessity to remove the Nanaimo Avenue Bridge was originally flagged on July 7, 2020.
Individuals with properties located near the bridge, and who may frequently use the bridge, will receive a letter containing further details along with directions on how to supply feedback.
“The city recognizes that this decision will present inconveniences to some residents and hopes the engagement process will provide a forum for concerns to be heard, while also providing greater awareness around the flood risk associated with the current bridge,” said Chapman.
Feedback will be collected until Jan. 31, 2021.