The Vedder bridge is still set to be replaced but it's contingent upon senior levels of government coming through with infrastructure funding

New Vedder Bridge will have to wait for enough funding

Bridge replacement is contingent upon infrastructure funding coming through, but City of Chilliwack officials are saving up for it.

  • Mon Apr 1st, 2013 8:00pm
  • News

City officials say they are still on track with plans for the Vedder Bridge replacement.

However it’s completely contingent upon senior levels of government coming through with matching grants, so there is no timeline affixed to it.

“It’s been identified as a definite need,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz.

Vehicle traffic across the river is increasing, especially in summer time.

Even though the project is listed under the 2014 column in City of Chilliwack’s comprehensive municipal plan for $9.5 million, it is because the city has to effectively plan for the project, to be ready to replace the bridge when the other two thirds of the infrastructure funding come through. It’s like a placeholder in the 2014 budget column.

The design for the bridge replacement is well under way, and they’re saving up for the expense, which will be a little more than $3 million.

But it’s not happening yet.

“So unfortunately we have to wait,” she said. “It has caused some optimism in the community.”

Cultus Lake Park Chair Sacha Peter commented last week that the issue was of interest to Cultus Lake Park residents, and a few tweets mentioned the topic as well.

“It shows the level of excitement in the community over the project is high, so maybe that will bode well for us in terms of grants,” said Gaetz.

Also municipal government has made its opinion known to other levels of government, through the Union of B.C. Municipalities and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, that a more “predictable” infrastructure funding program needs to be put in place.

“We don’t want to fall behind. So the money is being put aside. We’re planning for it. Any grants that come our way on this, we can turn on a dime.”

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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