SCUGOG: Council has decided to defer a decision, on what to do with the two Township’s aging bridges, to a meeting in June.
At a meeting on Monday, April 10th, Councillors saw a report from the Community Services Department, including the department’s preferred solutions for what to do with the bridge on River St. in Seagrave and a bridge on Scugog Line 8.
In 2014, the Township retained AECOM, to do a class environmental assessment study and a preliminary design of both bridges.
The preferred solution from staff on what to do with the Seagrave bridge was to replace it with a new two lane bridge. According to the report, this would cost about $1.8 million. The preferred solution from staff on the Line 8 bridge was to remove it. If the township chooses this option, it is estimated to cost $185,000.
Scugog’s director of community services, Carol Coleman, told Councillors these solutions were identified after the township held a public information centre meeting on the subject, in 2015.
“If we don’t take any action to repair or replace both of the bridges, they will need to be closed,” Ms. Coleman said.
The report recommended that these preferred solutions be endorsed by council and that staff issue a request for proposal for the detailed design of these solutions. However, the two solutions did not sit well with some councillors.
Ward 5 Councillor Jennifer Back said she would rather see the Line 8 bridge be refurbished as a pedestrian and cycling bridge.
“You take that bridge away, years from now I don’t think you will have any chance of putting that bridge back up,” Councillor Back said, adding the bridge could be used as a link to the Trans Canada Trail.
In addition she questioned the solution for the Seagrave bridge, referencing the lack of growth in the Seagrave area.
“I don’t understand the need for the two lane plus pedestrian. I think it is a little bit overkill. Coming from a member on the heritage committee, I can’t see the public wanting to have a new subdivision style bridge with no cultural value,” she said.
Ward 1 Councillor Betty Somerville said, from a heritage perspective, she would like to see the current Seagrave bridge stay up.
“I would hate to see it taken down,” she said.
At the public meeting portion of the Council meeting, Councillors heard overwhelming support from residents to save the Line 8 bridge.
Council later debated a motion by Councillor Back to have the preferred solution for the Line 8 bridge be a pedestrian cycling bridge, and that the preferred solution for the Seagrave bridge be refurbishing it as a single lane bridge.
However, Council later approved a motion, made by Ward 3 Councillor Don Kett, to defer the decision to a meeting on Monday, June 19th.
“We are sitting here trying to design bridges, and we are Councillors,” Councillor Kett said.