A MacGyveresque pedestrian bridge constructed with shopping carts, pallets a set of stairs and more is coming down.
The structure was built by Shane Patmore, a local homeless man who lives in a camp he built in the nearby bushes. He says countless people use the bridge to cross the creek under Highway 1 near Vedder Way in Abbotsford.
Patmore told The News his sturdy construction allows local homeless men and women to save time and energy when coming and going between Vedder Way and Riverside Road, where the Lookout Shelter is located. He said the bridge also provides access for first responders who occasionally respond to overdoses in the area.
But a spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation, which owns the land, said that both Patmore and the bridge must go.
“Ministry staff are aware that someone is living in this area near Highway 1 and their safety and well-being is of utmost concern to the ministry and ministry staff are working with Abbotsford Police, City By-Law officials and Social Services in an effort to find a suitable place to relocate this individual,” Trish Rorison wrote in an email.
Despite acknowledging that the bridge and camp pose no safety risk to the public or threat to the structural integrity of the highway, Rorison said the bridge would be removed as part of a cleanup effort after Patmore was relocated.