By Kalinowski, Tim on November 15, 2019.
Well, Lethbridge got something out of the recent provincial budget after all, but its not a new bridge on Highway 3 or a supportive housing facility to help those going through drug recovery or a new school on the over-crowded westside: it’s funding for an upgraded pedestrian-bike path across the Scenic Drive bridge over Highway 3.
The office of Minister of Transportation Brooklyn Elhard confirmed funding for the crossing upgrade is in this year’s provincial budget.
Mayor Chris Spearman was grateful to receive the funding, and hoped even more funding announcements for Lethbridge from the province would be forthcoming over the next few months.
“There are a number of things that were in process when we had the provincial election, and then a (provincial) budget had been passed,” explained Spearman. “Now the details of that are just being released; so we are hoping funding might come forward that had previously been announced, and there will be confirmations of additional funding coming to the City of Lethbridge.”
In the meantime, Spearman said funding for the pedestrian-cycle walkway was needed and appreciated, especially because the City could not proceed with the repairs unless the provincial government agreed as the Scenic Drive bridge is province-owned.
“We have funded all the others like the bicycle-pedestrian pathway across 5 Avenue North, but this bridge is actually owned by the province, so we need their co-operation,” explained Spearman.
“We are trying to complete our cycling and pedestrian pathways,” he added. “One of the obstacles that we have been talking to the provincial government about is the bridge over Highway 3 on Scenic Drive. You might have noticed the pedestrian way has been blocked off because it doesn’t meet standards. Now we’ll be able to go ahead and complete that pathway so those cycling and wishing to access our city can use that bridge safely.”
Spearman said construction of the new pedestrian-cycle walkway should commence in 2020.
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