As part of Phase 2 of our LRT network, the preferred track alignment going south of Lincoln Fields will require “relocating” the pedestrian bridge over the parkway. The current bridge spans the transitway connecting to Woodroffe High School on the east side. It is a concrete bridge.
Assuming it is still structurally sound, it makes sense to move it the short distance required, simply mounting it on new piers. (some more thought as to where it ends on the east side would be nice, too).
But it is made of concrete, and looks heavy:
If the city / light rail folks can envision moving this span, then I wonder about the spans next door at the Lincoln Fields Station, which are a similar age:
While there are some bits of decay on both bridges, they look sound to my uneducated eye.
Where could we re-use those overhead bridges when the current station is demolished five years from now?
I think they’d make dandy new overpasses over the Trillium Line, where at least two new overpasses are planned for people who walk and people who ride bikes. One planned location connects Laurel Street (west) in Hintonburg with Oak Street in Dalhousie. Another long planned for location is from Wellington West (in Hintonburg, near Tom Brown Arena field) to Albert Street just by the City Centre site, which is adjacent the approved plan for Phoenix to build two 40 storey office towers and the multi tower redevelopment of the City Centre site itself.
I am sure readers can suggest any number of other locations where short bridges are desired and maybe even on the official plan. (re-used bridges are unlikely to be suitable for fancy smantzy locations like over the canal, but might work over the Jock River, for example).
Relocating the bridges would not be free, nor cheap. There would have to be a few million dollars of deciding where to put the bridges, of engineering work, building new bridge piers to hold the relocated bridge spans, approach ramps, etc. But even with all that, it might be a cheap way to get more bridges sooner, to say nothing of the re-use brownie points and saved carbon whatevers.
I’d love it if the bridges could be relocated complete with their glassed in enclosures, for wind and rain and weather protection, for saved snowplowing, and saved ugly “security” fences to discourage suicides. But even if we just got the deck, and a new chain link fence … it would enhance the pedestrian and cycling network sooner cheaper.
Since we have a few years before the bridges are demolished … and before that we’ll need lots of engineering consultants to plan the demolition … perhaps we can examine the re-use option and see how it compares to the demolish option.