RDN to build new bridge at Little Qualicum River Park

The bridge will be removed due to safety concerns

The Regional District of Nanaimo dropped its original plan to upgrade the Little Qualicum River Regional Park Bridge, opting to build a new one instead.

The cost to upgrade the old bridge, which is in bad shape and unsafe for use, has increased since it was first approved in 2015 from $125,000 to $432,389. Staff indicated it could increase even more if other unknowns are discovered during construction. A new bridge, staff estimated, would cost between $600,000 and $700,000.

Given the cost to upgrade the bridge and the unknown age of the existing components, Mark Dobbs, superintendent of Parks Operations and Capital Projects, stated in his report to the board it would be prudent to build a new bridge instead that would last 75 years. The financial implications, he pointed out, do not support proceeding with upgrades to the structure of the bridge.

The RDN recently put out a request for proposals from June to July to upgrade the bridge and three tenders were received with the lowest bid of $333,656 being submitted by Heavy Metal Ltd.

But staff recommended the board cancel the tender and not award the contract. The board agreed and also endorsed the removal of the existing bridge due to safety concerns.

When the RDN took ownership of the Little Qualicum River property, the bridge was used for gravel extraction by Ozero Sand and Gravel through affiliation with Wicklow West Holdings.

Since sustaining damage in 2014, the bridge was closed to the public. Concrete no-post barriers weighing 2,000 kilograms were placed at each end of the bridge but they were repeatedly vandalized and removed. The gates were constantly breached to allow vehicles to access the property.

All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) users drive through this site as an alternative river crossing location and that was a concern. Dobbs indicated that aside from the risk this posed to ATV users and pedestrians, it is also causing significant damage and siltation to sensitive salmon habitat that spawn and nest in the area.

The bridge is an important link to the local community for access to the river and to neighbouring crown lands.

Staff said they feel a new bridge will benefit the community and the region.

The board agreed that the design and construction of the new bridge be considered for inclusion in the 5-year-Regional Parks Capital Plan.

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach on path to ban plastic bags

Bylaw will get legal advice prior to third reading

RDN to improve ways to deal with bylaw disputes

New system being explored that will be more efficient and effective

Hotel, restaurant and multi-use residential complex proposed for Resort Drive

Parksville could soon see more rental units, some zoned for commercial use

Inside the music: step behind the curtain at the venerable Vancouver Island Music Festival

Big Read: VIMF in the Comox Valley exemplifies the spirit of an Island summer music festival

ECHO Players’ 2018/19 season announced

Qualicum Beach theatre company to show Peter Pan musical, Enchanted April and more

All-Indigenous teams break new ground, making BC Games history

This is the first time there have been dedicated Indigenous teams at the BC Summer Games

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Ping-pong balls of fire dropped to merge two B.C. wildfires

The merger is considered successful by BC Wildfire Services

POLL: Do you use the bus system regularly

Question of the week, July 17

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Haida Gwaii village faces housing crisis, targets short-term rentals

Housing is tight and the village is pretty close to zero vacancy

Most Read