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Taylor Bridge—what say you?

Public online survey gives one of five choices for bridge's future
Over 200 online surveys have been completed since early August asking respondents their thoughts on the future of the Taylor Bridge.

A month after it began an online survey of the Taylor Bridge, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says it has received more than 200 responses on its website.

In August, the ministry unveiled five different concepts it’s asking the public to consider, from staying the course, where repairs are made on an ongoing basis to keep the span in good condition, to having a second two-lane structure built across the Peace River.

“We are also meeting with stakeholder groups including industry, local government, and emergency responders,” said Curtis Saunders, regional manager of project delivery for the northern region.

“At this time, we are in the planning phase. What we’re doing is listening for input into how affected stakeholders are using the Taylor Bridge and the surrounding area. We’ve presented five concepts for review and looking for this input to refine and better understand the stakeholders.”

“We are clearly understanding that the Taylor Bridge crossing is a key link between the north and south Peace regions of the province and a high value for economic movement of goods and people,” he continued.

“We’re hearing that reliability of this crossing is an important interest of some folks responding as some aspects of recreational opportunities as well.”

Saunders was asked if there was one leading choice among the five concepts presented.

“At this time, again, we are just gathering information. It’s more about the ways individuals and groups are using the bridge, to get that input, clearly understood and refined as we can.”

The bridge deck is currently undergoing four full weeks of maintenance and is reduced to single lane alternating traffic for nearly 12 hours nightly.

The bridge, opened in 1960, sees close to 7,500 vehicles cross it everyday, including large commercial traffic linked to the region’s oil and gas sector.

Local government and the region’s MLAs and MPs, both current and past, have pushed to see an entirely new span built – the existing structure unable to have additions, like asphalt, made to it because of safety concerns.

Fort St. John mayor Lori Ackerman has gone one step further, calling it the “holiest” bridge in the Peace, alluding to the amount of praying that’s done before and during the crossing.

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