qathet Regional District (qRD) has completed the installation of an aluminum trestle pedestrian and cycling bridge and trail hooking Centennial Drive to Butler Road and Highway 101.
According to a qRD media release, the Myrtle Creek bridge and trail was funded by the provincial ministry of transportation and infrastructure (MoTI) and Canada Community-Building Fund, administered by the Union of BC Municipalities. Local MoTI staff and contractors provided construction and installation support, the release stated.
At the September 23 regional board meeting, Electoral Area A director and board chair Patrick Brabazon said he’s had a look at the bridge.
“I’m impressed,” said Brabazon. “It’s a beautiful piece of work. We are already getting favourable reviews from the local community.”
Also at the meeting, Electoral Area B director Mark Gisborne, in whose electoral district the installation has been made, said he has heard some positive feedback about the bridge, but he’s also heard some negative feedback.
“Unfortunately, this phase of the active transportation corridor is not inclusive for people with disabilities,” said Gisborne. “I would have loved to have taken my wheelchair-bound father to see the next phase of the initiative that he had been instrumental in starting. However, due to the steep slopes, I probably would have needed to call the fire department to get him back up the hill. That’s my concern that I share with some members of the community.”
Since 2013, qRD has worked with MoTI on a five-phase plan to widen Padgett Road by 1.5 metres from Duncan Street to the Centennial Drive intersection to include a bike path, the release stated.
The newly built bridge now provides safe access for pedestrians and cyclists to travel to and from town and will reduce the probability of multiple road user conflicts and accidents along Highway 101 and Padgett Road, according to the release.
Improving infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists is identified as a priority in qRD’s regional transportation plan. Parks and trail network development are provided through the regional parks service. For more information on regional parks and trails and to view the regional transportation plan, go to qathet.ca.