Queensway community will have the pedestrian bridge before kids go back to school.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON May 30, 2012  It came in at $60,000 above the original estimate which might cause some indigestion at Council committee this evening but the bridge has to be repaired.  That the bridge was repaired at all was because the community it serves rose up and complained very loudly and council listened and put out tenders for the repairs.  The longer term solution is thought to be a tunnel under the rail lines but that’s twenty years into the future; and if it ever happens the Queensway community will be a lot different than it is today.

Repairs and maybe a paint job - ready for the kids to cross getting back to school - assuming council committee approves the cost - $440,000

The Queensway community was very upset when the bridge was suddenly closed last November because it was deemed to be unsafe.   City Council struggled with spending more than $350,000 on a bridge that few people used.  The community responded with several delegations to city hall and set the record straight on that issue.  City staff worked very hard and came up with some creative ideas to get people across the railway tracks – but none of them proved very feasible.  They deserve credit for the work they did, at times in very short notice.  The city had to either tunnel under the tracks or fix the bridge that went over the tracks – that was an easy decision to make.  The repairs were approved.

The community response was an interesting example of how community and council interact.  Council knew very little about the community and the bridge that gave it a way out of a part of town that while not land locked isn’t easy to get in and out of without a car.  It’s an older community with exceptionally large lots that developers have seen as ripe for townhouse type dwelling developments.  It is a very short walk to the GO station and if the numbers of new residents rises enough there might even be bus service into the area.

The first of the developments is now underway.  A community appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board didn’t get them anywhere..  Part of the problem with that appeal is that the person who filed the documents no longer lived in the community, which in itself doesn’t preclude an appeal – but it does make it harder to make ones case.  In this situation the case wasn’t made and the OMB web site says the matter is closed.

The work on the bridge will begin almost immediately and is scheduled to be completed by August – in time for the kids to use when they return to school.

There were four bids to repair the bridge – in this case the lowest tender ($350,339.55) is being recommended. The bid is just part of the cost.  Internal engineering services came to $10,000; CN flagman added $20,000 and the people who did the design and contract administration added $40,000 to the cost.   The highest bid came in at $731,688.56 – wonder how they came up with that number?

This will probably make it through council committee and get a rubber stamp at full Council.  It is on the agenda for committee as a consent matter; they don’t even want to talk about it.







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