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qathet Regional District director advocates for bridges

​​​​​​​qathet Regional District board to consider sending a letter for Lang Creek upgrades
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DANGEROUS STRUCTURE: qathet Regional District Electoral Area C director Clay Brander brought forward a motion for pedestrian and cycling bridges to be installed on either side of the Lang Creek bridge on Highway 101 to improve safety for those using active transportation.

qathet Regional District’s board of directors will consider sending a letter to the minister of transportation and infrastructure requesting the implementation of pedestrian and cycling bridges at Lang Creek.

At the June 16 committee of the whole meeting, Electoral Area C director Clay Brander, in whose electoral area the Lang Creek bridge is located, brought the recommendation to the committee. The recommendation also recommends that the board send letters to School District 47, Powell River RCMP, Tla’amin Nation, City of Powell River, Tourism Powell River, Powell River – Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons and the Powell River Salmon Society, requesting they sent letters to the minister of highways to support the bridges initiative.

Brander said the Lang Creek bridge on Highway 101 is dangerous to cross for cyclists or pedestrians.

“I was down there with the ministry of transportation representative a couple of weeks ago and there was a yellow and black metal warning sign on the edge of the road and somebody had plowed it under,” said Brander. “It’s obviously a very narrow bridge and it would be good if we could have pedestrian bridges on the side of it.”

Electoral Area B director Mark Gisborne said he was thinking of the pedestrian bridge in Area B over Myrtle Creek, and wondered if the regional district could do a similar project with a similar bridge across Lang Creek. He said he believes the regional district was able to use community works funding and then got a grant from the ministry of transportation.

“It was a joint effort and I believe it was led by the regional district to get a bridge across Myrtle Creek,” said Gisborne. “This motion seems to be asking the ministry of transportation for a bridge, but if we were to go down the road of something similar to Myrtle Creek, how would that unfold?”

Manager of operational services Patrick Devereaux said his understanding was the community works fund was used for the engineering, design and manufacture of the pedestrian bridge crossing over Myrtle Creek. He said the ministry of transportation funded the installation and the building of a trail.

“It was a joint project,” said Devereaux. “I think, in the end, the dollar split was 60/40, with the 60 percent from the ministry of transportation.

“I did ask some of my contacts about the cost of a pedestrian bridge across Lang Creek. It’s significantly bigger than the Myrtle Creek crossing, and with the cost of materials, we’re probably looking at somewhere around three times the price.”

Electoral Area A director and board chair Patrick Brabazon said that discussion was around bridges on a highway, which is several orders of magnitude over anything done at Myrtle Creek.

“I think this one should be getting the ministry of transportation onside and get them doing it as a public safety issue,” said Brabazon. “We are probably going to be talking about two bridges – one on either side of the highway because we certainly don’t want pedestrians and cyclists crossing the highway just to get to one side and then come back across it on the other end. I think the scale of this is beyond anything we’ve done before.”

Brander said the bridges should be ministry of transportation assets, so he’d like to go to them before pursuing any other options.

The committee carried Brander’s motion to send letters to the minister of transportation and several local organizations.