Estimate for bike lanes on Burrard Bridge hits $57M
Last Updated: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 | 2:21 PM PT
The cost of adding bicycle lanes to Vancouver's Burrard Bridge has quadrupled, according to the latest estimates.
"The estimated cost to do the work necessary to make the improvements in 2009 dollars would be $57 million," Coun. Kim Capri told the CBC on Monday.
And the final cost could rise further, as high $63 million, since the work would have to be put off until after the 2010 Olympics, said Capri.
The numbers were presented to city councillors on Monday by city engineers at a special workshop on the latest plan to add bike lanes to the heritage-listed bridge.
City staff say the increase, which takes the cost to roughly four times the original estimate, is due in part to a dramatic increase in the cost of construction, which is rising at about one per cent a month in Vancouver.
In 2002 the city put aside $14.5 million to add bike lanes to the bridge.
But city engineers have also identified several additional costs that weren't revealed in any of the conceptual plans, such as the cost of strengthening the bridge to support the weight of the wider sidewalks necessary to accommodate more bicycles and pedestrians.
The news reopens the debate about whether the city should reconsider an older plan, which called for closing traffic lanes to make room for bikes, said Coun. George Chow.
That plan was adopted by the previous council, but dropped by the current council immediately following the last civic election, in 2005.
But staff warned against reconsidering it because it would back up traffic on both end of the bridge and lead to gridlock, said Capri.
Already the city has spent $1.5 million on consultants' reports to try to figure out how to make the bridge safer for cyclists, while keeping car traffic flowing and maintaining the bridge's heritage character.
Currently both cyclists and pedestrians share narrow sidewalks right next to vehicle traffic on the busy thoroughfare linking downtown Vancouver and the Kitsilano neighbourhood.With files from Stephen Quinn
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