Sharing the public’s frustrations regarding Diefenbaker bridge lane closures over the Labour Day long weekend, Coun. Ted Zurakowski asked, “Why?”
“Why is the bridge closed off when nobody is working there?” he asked during Monday’s city council meeting, relaying a question from his constituents.
“That continues to be a frustration of residents and our neighbours.”
With most work occurring underneath the bridge, it’s not necessarily visible, the city’s director of Public Works Colin Innes explained.
“There is work that’s being done with things like roller bearings, which isn’t something that people are going to be able to see just by looking at the bridge.”
After jacking the bridge up prior to the long weekend, some components were found to have been in much worse condition than expected, so it had to remain jacked up while replacement parts were ordered.
“The last I heard there was going to be a two-week delay due to the mailing of some components,” Innes noted.
Moving council’s attention south down Second Avenue West to the concrete and asphalt project in the area around the avenue’s intersection with 15th Street, Coun. L. Darren Whitehead pointed out further frustration from the community.
“Do we ever consider off-shift or evenings to have the contractors to do this work to possibly speed up this process and lessen this disruption to traffic?” Coun. Lee Atkinson asked.
Why is the bridge closed off when nobody is working there? That continues to be a frustration of residents and our neighbours. - Coun. Ted Zurakowski, relaying a question of his constituents to city council.
“I know it would probably cost more … but I think, we’re growing up as a city.”
Innes said that such off-shift work was not part of the tender, and with the curing periods involved in the work wouldn’t make much of a difference when it comes to this project in particular.
Rounding back to the Diefenbaker bride lane closures, Coun. Greg Dionne said that the key source of frustration wasn’t that the lane closures took place, but because the city suggested that all four lanes would be open for the Labour Day long weekend.
“We communicated we’d have it open for the September long weekend like we did with the August long weekend, so travelling through (they) didn’t book that extra time or expect long delays,” Dionne said.
Mayor Jim Scarrow said that this is exactly why we need a second North Saskatchewan River crossing at or near the city.
“This is an old bridge and while the repairs are being made at cost to the provincial government, there were people that were an hour-and-a-half in that lineup — some five or six kilometers north of the city trying to get across the bridge, and in 2012 that’s not acceptable.”
Read Wednesday’s Daily Herald for a report on a debate during Monday's city council meeting regarding a motion to rezone parkland as industrial medium density.