The $325,000 price tag for new stairs at Latoria Creek Park encompasses more than just the cost of building the stairs, according to the City of Colwood.
Last week, some readers expressed through Facebook comments that the cost of the stairs is “obscene.”
But on Friday, the City put out a news release stating that the estimated $325,000 cost covers detailed engineering design, materials and construction.
The amount is one of three estimates used in a Canada Infrastructure grant application that the city applied for to help pay for the cost of replacing the stairs.
“This amount is the highest of the three estimates, and comes with the longest life span, lowest maintenance cost, and lowest overall cost for the City and taxpayers over time,” the release said.
There are a total of four steep staircases in Latoria Creek Park, each with up to 112 steps. The work to replace them would be done over three years.
The first set of stairs is almost one kilometre along a forest trail with the creek below on one side and steep, rocky slopes on the other.
The City said the location of the stairs presents challenges when it comes to replacement because materials cannot be trucked or craned in since the stairs are deep in the park.
“They would need to be fabricated off site and transported in sections,” the release said.
Proposed materials for the stairs would be an aluminum structure with wood components to fit the natural forest setting.
The steps are in need of replacing after a 2018 inspection revealed that several steps were rotting and unsafe. Temporary repairs were done but according to an assessment that was done at the time, replacement is still necessary to ensure the stairs continue to be safe and usable over the long-term.
The City received 200 signatures in support of applying for the federal grant which will cover 73 per cent of the replacement cost. The remaining 27 per cent — or $87,000 — would be covered by the City. There would be zero tax increase to Colwood residents for this work.