Cyclists travelling on the Gertrude Street vehicle bridge will have a little more room soon, according to city engineer Guy Cicon.
“The existing substructure itself is sound but there isn’t enough strength or capacity in the substructure to make the road really wide—we’re widening the road a little bit,” Cicon told city council on Monday night.
“That will accommodate cycling lanes on each side but pedestrians we’re guiding down to the new foot bridge that we put in just upstream last year. We’ve got an interesting combination there.”
It was also cheaper to separate out the pedestrians, Cicon added.
Following a tender process, the vehicle bridge widening will be completed by K&G Installations at a cost of $249,500—just $500 under what was allocated for the project.
Coun. Jack McLeman inquired as to whether cyclists could traverse Kitsuksis Creek via the pedestrian bridge.
“Is there no way we can put cyclists over the foot path over the creek and just have [the vehicle bridge] a bit wider for vehicles?” said McLeman.
“To me cycling lanes are one of the most dangerous things on any city streets.”
Cicon said that wasn’t a good option.
“I think you have to be a cyclist to understand why you wouldn’t force the cyclist down off the road, onto a bridge and up the other side,” he said.
“Cyclists want to go from A to B as effectively and efficiently as possible. There’s room for the cyclists and traffic with the bridge widening that we’re proposing.”
Cicon said that work on the bridge will start soon and that traffic disruption will result.
“There will be traffic disruptions and we’ll try to manage those the best we can,” he said.
Five bids were submitted for the project in total, with Bowerman Excavating being the only local company.