Kimberley bridge debate revived

Terminus of Peak to Platzl Trail near downtown station a highly visible, more natural location for timber frame bridge Society argues

The Railway Society suggests this footbridge be replaced by one of the timber frame bridges.

The Railway Society suggests this footbridge be replaced by one of the timber frame bridges.

Kimberley City Council decided this year — not without controversy — to go ahead and install two timber frame bridges originally intended for the Mark Creek flume rehab area in alternate locations.

The locations chosen were Marysville Falls, to replace a much older bridge that is below the flood plane, and on Mackenzie Street to replace the existing footbridge.

While Council has passed the resolution for those locations, the folks at the Kimberley Underground Railway Society have waded into the discussion with another idea.

The Society’s executive has sent a letter to Council asking them to reconsider the Mackenzie Street location in favour of what they say is a far more suitable, and visible, one, at the bottom of the Peak to Platzl Trail near the Downtown Station of the Underground Railway.

In a letter to Council, Society President Mick Henningson argues that the Mackenzie Street footbridge is in good condition and high above the river so the only advantage to replacing it with a timberframe structure would be a covered roof.

Henningson believes the area near the exit of the Peak to Platzl is a far better location.

“Besides providing a creek crossing in line with the width and quality of the P2P Trail, the bridge would be located in a wooded section of stream banks where the creek exists in its original natural setting. We believe many of our 9,000 plus riders would decide to explore the trail from this beautiful and convenient bridge setting.”

Not only that, Henningson says, but the bridge would be far more visible there, as it would be seen by tourists heading up to the ski resort.

“We believe this location has a much better ambience and aesthetic setting for a bridge of this kind compared to how it would look installed at Mackenzie Street.

There would be some additional expenses involved in installing the bridge at this location, Henningson says, as abutments would have to be added, but he believes money for that could be found in Resort Municipality funding as it could be argued to be a tourism project.