Is the price tag worth building a third bridge to get to South Hill? We could soon find out.
During Monday night’s city council meeting, Mayor Clive Tolley made a motion that the matter of planning for a new bridge connecting Coteau Street West with Thatcher Drive Northwest be referred to capital budget discussions. One of those possibilities is a bridge from Thatcher Drive to 16th Avenue Southwest.
The motion passed 5-1 with Coun. Dawn Luhning opposed and Coun. Crystal Froese was absent.
Currently, the only access to South Hill from the west side of the city is the Fourth Avenue Viaduct, which is in need of repairs, and the Ninth Avenue bridge.
“We continue to get complaints about access off of the southwest at the corner of Coteau and Ninth Avenue Southwest. I'm thinking that if we can get started talking about this and get it on the agenda eventually, it could become a reality,” Tolley said.
City Manager Jim Puffalt told city council there could be some savings if the bridge is included in the transportation master plan that the city is working on with the Province of Saskatchewan.
“So that would be a topic that would be included in that transportation master plan, which should be funded through the Urban Highway Connector Program, so no cost to us and is something to just ask them to investigate as they do the long-term planning. This is of course a document that looks out 25 to 40 years,” Puffalt said.
Coun. Jamey Logan agreed that it's worth seeing how much the bridge would cost, especially if the city doesn’t have to pay for the report. He warned, however, that the bridge could come with a hefty price tag.
“Well, after hearing that there's no cost to us and it could be a traffic study, I do think having a high-level estimate will be an eye opener for some folks to have a look at what that costs. Everybody wants it, but do we need it? When we see the costs come in that report, it may be an eye-opener for some folks,” Logan said.