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

#MeToo at work: B.C. women share horrifyingly common sexual assaults

It happens to more people than you might think and impacts women inside and outside of the workplace

RDN to proceed with Bowser Wastewater Project

Board endorse plan to work on design, tendering and construction of the sewer system

Parksville-Qualicum home prices skyrocket

Benchmark price jumps 16 per cent in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Kiosk designed to help residents, visitors of Parksville Qualicum Beach

Parksville chamber hopes this to be first of many

SOS provides family a turning point

One mother’s decision at Christmas changed her life forever

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Disney buying part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Woman charged after altercation injured baby in Toronto

Charges have been laid after a four-month-old baby girl was critically injured in Toronto

Anderson extends invitation to Liberal voters

Interim B.C. Conservative party leader invites “disenfranchised Liberal voters” to join his party

Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil announces retirement

Veteran Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil spent 15 seasons with the NHL team

Police continue to seek missing Qualicum Beach woman

Oceanside RCMP requesting public assistance in locating Carmel Georgina Gilmour

Trudeau’s office confirms staffer being probed over allegations

PMO confirms staffer being probed over allegations of reported “inappropriate behaviour.”

Police kill gunman north of Toronto

Police shot and killed a gunman during a hostage situation at a bank north of Toronto

Most Read