Saturday, August 30, 2008

peace in the valley

Ron Albertson, the Hamilton Spectator
A bridge too old on Valley Inn Road
Bylaw would halt only vehicle access

The Hamilton Spectator
(Aug 30, 2008)

The city is one step closer to closing the Valley Inn Road bridge to vehicle traffic.

Plans have been in the works for a while, but the bylaw that needs to pass before the move can go ahead will be brought to a city committee Sept. 8.

It then needs the approval of council to move ahead.

Lorissa Skrypniak, senior project manager in environmental planning with the city, said the plan is to permanently close the bridge to vehicles while allowing pedestrians and cyclists to continue using it.

She said there will be "no vehicles, because the bridge is in poor condition. But it's safe for pedestrians and bicycles."

Once Hamilton council has passed a bylaw to close the bridge, Burlington council will also need to take a similar step, Skrypniak said.

The bridge is owned by Hamilton but falls in both municipalities.

Skrypniak said access on the Hamilton side will be blocked off at York Boulevard, but people will still be able to get to the Royal Botanical Gardens and Spring Gardens Road from the Burlington side.

In addition, the bridge is set to undergo improvements that will maintain the heritage component of the structure.

"People like the character and the heritage flavour of the single-lane bridge," Skrypniak said.

She speculated work could get under way in the spring.

If everything moves through the two municipal councils with no problems, the Valley Inn Road bridge could be closed to cars by the end of the year.

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