Pedestrian bridge on Walter Bean Trail still closed
Published Tuesday, August 14, 2012 5:06PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 14, 2012 6:54PM EDT
A $6-million bridge along the Walter Bean Trail remains closed, but people are still using it to cross the Grand River.
The pedestrian bridge connects Kitchener and Cambridge, and Kitchener Councillor Yvonne Fernandes was hoping it would be open this summer.
“Here we are seven years later and the bridge is still not open.”
It’s especially troubling because the bridge will have to be closed in the fall as it sits right next to a nesting area for bald eagles.
The bridge was expected to be completed in July but has been delayed.
In an email sent to CTV News the city says the bridge is essentially complete, but “work outstanding includes safety railings and adjacent site restoration.”
Orange mesh fencing and metal barriers are in place on the bridge to keep people from crossing.
But Fernandes says “If we’re trying to keep people out of here we’re not doing a tremendously good job.”
People are accessing the trail by simply stepping over the fencing, a situation area resident Jack Brown has seen numerous times.
“They have been going across and they climb around the gates they have down there and they hand their bikes to another buddy.”
Fernandes is understanding but says “I’m not endorsing that. You’re taking your life in your hands doing something like that.”
The bridge has been difficult to build, constructed using only cranes to avoid disturbing fish habitat in the water and trees that hold bald eagle nests in the winter.
And with nesting season approaching, Fernandes would like to see the bridge open safely, at least for a little while.
City staff says despite posted signs indicating a July opening, they are hoping the bridge will be complete by the end of August and a grand unveiling is scheduled for Sept. 14th.