Opening of the second public engagement session on potential solutions for the Taylor Bridge
TAYLOR, BC – The British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has launched a second phase of public engagement on the future of the Taylor Bridge and five possible solutions the province has planned.
The engagement session will run from August 9 to September 30, 2022 and can be done online. Options for a formal written response or feedback using the province’s self-administered online tool are available.
Five design solutions have been identified for the future of the Taylor Bridge after the first phase of public engagement last fall. These five ideas are at the center of this second phase of engagement.
The first is to maintain the existing bridge and keep it in good condition, and the second is a complete renewal of the existing two-lane bridge, which will include a new solid deck surface that would minimize maintenance.
The third concept is to replace the bridge with a new two-lane bridge that will improve travel and create safer opportunities for walking and cycling to Île de la Paix Park.
The fourth concept is a new four-lane bridge that will best support future economic growth in northeast British Columbia.
The fifth and final possible plan is a two-bridge system that maintains the current bridge with a strong new bridge deck and builds a new two-lane bridge nearby to support increased traffic in the area.
Phase 2 of the plan for the future of the bridge also includes technical examinations of the bridge and surrounding area, including geotechnical drilling and diving teams who will explore the river bed for erosion.
“While the results of these engineering reviews will help guide planning for the future of the Taylor Bridge, they also reaffirm the safety of the current bridge structure for motorists,” the Department of Transportation said in a statement.
The first phase of public engagement, opened last fall, received more than 1,000 comments from local residents, businesses, industry and the general public. This phase, according to the provincial government, helped shape concepts for the future of the bridge.
Concerns raised during this first phase included the continued traffic delays caused by the 62-year-old bridge and the economic and safety issues that the closure of the vital connection may cause for the region.
The bridge is also subject to weight and width restrictions that limit industry uses and cause significant detours for oversized vehicles.
Of the 7,500 cars and trucks that use the bridge daily, 30% are commercial trucks from industries such as oil and gas, mining, forestry and agriculture.