To mark its 80th birthday this year, Saanich and View Royal will force retirement upon the aging Craigflower Bridge.
The narrow, two-lane wooden bridge between the two municipalities is slated to be replaced by a three-lane steel bridge, double the width of the existing span, complete with bike lanes and wide sidewalks.
Physical work on the project is currently set to begin June 1, 2013, with major construction beginning in July. It’s expected to take six months to complete.
Still up in the air is how pedestrians and cyclists will be accommodated, as the next closest Gorge Waterway crossing accounts for a 4.5-kilometre detour.
A solution is expected to be announced in the spring. There’s been discussions around building a temporary bridge, or keeping part of the old bridge in place during construction for pedestrian access.
Saanich also recently put out a request for proposal seeking Archaeological Monitoring Services, as the project will abut sensitive First Nations and heritage lands.
The $10.7-million Craigflower Bridge reconstruction project is funded mostly by federal gas tax cash ($10 million). Saanich will cover 60 per cent of the remaining bill, and View Royal will cover the rest.