It is a small bridge but a big concern.
Port Moody city council spent some time Tuesday evening discussing the prospects of replacing the Ioco Road Bridge at Noons Creek. The old timber bridge, according to a city report, is well passed its design lifespan and has been designated for replacement since a 2001 inspection.
After applying and being rejected for funding through other governmental grants, Port Moody in July applied for money through the Canada-BC Building Canada Fund to help fund the projected $1.3 million to $1.5 million price tag of replacing the bridge. If the grant request is approved, both the city and TransLink would be on the hook for upwards of $250,000 while the fund would be expected to provide upwards of $1 million.
On Tuesday, council voted unanimously to send a letter requesting support for the project to TransLink Board chair Dale Parker; Port Moody-Westwood MLA Iain Black; Port Moody-Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam MP James Moore; provincial Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon; the federal minister of transport, infrastructure and communities, John Baird; and the federal minister of western economic diversification, Lynne Yelich.
In discussing the likelihood of receiving the grant to build the bridge — a prospect Coun. Meghan Lahti categorized as doubtful — some members of council, including Mayor Joe Trasolini, questioned why Port Moody should have to bear any portion of the bridge’s expense. Responsibility for the bridge was forced upon the city from the provincial government in the late 1990s, a process Trasolini called unfair.
“I have sat on the board and I have watched TransLink approve and pay for the replacement of many little bridges in other municipalities,” he said. “Why should this one be any different?”
It was agreed that council would wait for the outcome of its funding request, continuing to commit a potential $250,000 portion of the payment for the bridge, if the grant is approved.
“We can’t just pull [our portion of the funding] out if it is already there in the application,” said Coun. Meghan Lahti.
But if the grant is not approved, Port Moody will then start to pursue ways to fund the replacement of the bridge without using city money.
In the meantime, council also voted to send a letter to TransLink outlining its concerns over the safety of the bridge, requesting a ban of heavy vehicles using the bridge in an effort to ease deterioration, hopefully postponing its eventual decline into disrepair.
Other PoMo news:
At Tuesday night’s meeting, Pomo council unanimously approved Mayor Trasolini’s recommendations for council appointments and for the schedule that will determine who will be acting mayor in his absence.
Trasolini was appointed director on the GVRD board, with Coun. Karen Rockwell appointed alternate. Rockwell was also appointed director on the GVRD labour relations bureau, with Coun. Gerry Nuttall appointed alternate.
The appointments to the Municipal Insurance Association were Coun. Bob Elliott as a voting delegate, Nuttall as the first alternate and Coun. Mike Clay as the second alternate. Nuttall was also appointed to the Lower Mainland treaty advisory committee council as a representative, with Elliott the alternate.