The public had its first look at concept drawings for the $10.7 million Craigflower Bridge replacement at an open house Wednesday.
Harold Engineering, the Nanaimo-based firm contracted to design the bridge, presented three similarly-priced options for the public to consider. View Royal and Saanich will collect feedback on the options before they jointly decide what design they want to move ahead with.
Saanich transportation manager Jim Hemstock said many variables need to be considered when selecting a design.
“Given that they all cost about the same, we’ll be looking at how quickly each can be constructed, how they’ll perform in an earthquake, what their maintenance costs will be, and how they look aesthetically,” Hemstock said.
The main tradeoff between the bridge designs is the style of their base and how much room is dedicated to bikes and pedestrians.
For example, if the bridge has a simple concrete base, rather than a more expensive steel base, the savings can be used for more attractive railings or a wider bridge deck.
Some elements are present in all the bridge designs, including the presence of a barrier between vehicle lanes and bike lanes and space on the downstream side of the bridge for herring fishing.
The bridge will carry three lanes of traffic and have lamp posts for lighting.
It’s possible some of the wood from the current bridge can be incorporated into the the new design.
“Some of the beams are Douglas fir and they still look like they just came out of the sawmill,” Hemstock said.
That wood could line the pedestrian walkway or the herring fishing platform, depending on what design is selected.
The existing timber trestle, built in 1933, is expected to be torn down in June 2012. The new bridge will open six months later.
There was early talk of keeping the original bridge open during the first half of construction, but that would extend the overall construction period to 18 months.
“I haven’t talked to a single person who wants that option,” Hemstock said. “There’s been a lot of construction in the area, and the message we get from people is they want it over as quickly as possible.”
The bulk of the project cost will be covered by $10 million in gas tax funds allocated by the Capital Regional District. Sannich will cover 60 per cent of the remaining bill with View Royal contributing the remaining 40 per cent.
The design options are outlined at www.saanich.ca/services/roads/craigflower.html. Feedback on the designs can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.