PEI

Minister hopes to see Hillsborough Bridge's new active transportation lane this fall

The P.E.I. government has finalized a design and is now accepting bids to complete work on the active transportation lane on the Hillsborough Bridge.

'It’s important to connect Stratford and Charlottetown together for bikers and walkers'

Active commuters, like walkers and bikers, are currently forced to use the sidewalk or shoulder when crossing the Hillsborough Bridge. (Travis Kingdon/CBC)

The P.E.I. government has finalized a design and is now accepting bids to complete the work on the active transportation lane on the Hillsborough Bridge.

Active transportation groups have been advocating for the project for several years.

The initial plan was to build the lane when crews were installing sewer pipes under the bridge — work that started last year. Then the King government delayed it to 2023 before deciding to build it more quickly after all. 

"COVID happened and we were looking at ways that we could use our current infrastructure fund to stimulate the economy, and when we looked at some of the projects we could bring forward, the bike lane on the bridge was one of them," said Transportation Minister Steven Myers.

"Our plan is to have it in this construction season." 

'Not cutting any corners'

The lane will be on the south side of the bridge — the side closest to downtown Charlottetown — and will be linked to other walking and cycling paths in both Charlottetown and Stratford. 

It will be wide enough for travel in both directions and a barrier will protect cyclists and walkers from cars and trucks on the roadway.

Myers said the completed work will look similar to the active transportation lane on the North River Causeway. 

"It's going to be a pretty sturdy object. We're going to shift all the lanes over to make room for it," he said.

I'd like to see people be able to bike over before the snow flies.- Steven Myers, P.E.I. Transportation Minister

"We're not cutting any corners to make this. We want it to be as safe as possible, and obviously it's important to connect Stratford and Charlottetown together for bikers and walkers."

The project is expected to cost $4 million and will be paid for through the province's $25-million active transportation fund. Myers said he's confident the project will come in on budget.

"If the tender's closed and awarded, I would like to see the work start almost immediately," he said.

"I'd like to see people be able to bike over before the snow flies."

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Travis Kingdon

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