City staff recommends a long term fix for Blackfriars Bridge

London, ON, Canada / 106.9 The X
City staff recommends a long term fix for Blackfriars Bridge

City Engineers are suggesting to rehabilitate Blackfriars Bridge so it can support vehicles, bikes and pedestrians.

Engineers displayed their proposal to the public at Museum London late afternoon/early evening Thursday.

They suggest that the vehicles would be only allowed to travel eastbound on the bridge. With cyclists and pedestrians able to travel both directions.

While they can’t give an exact figure on the costs, Manager of Transportation Planning and Design, Doug MacRae says they do have an indication of what it would cost.

“It’s in the range of $4.5-million. That’s still cost effective. The bridge has served Londoners for 140 years with really minimal work.”

Possibilities for the bridge:

  • Rehabilitate for drivers (eastbound only), pedestrians and cyclists. Cost: $4.4-4.8-million
  • Rehabilitate for pedestrians and cyclists. Cost: $4.4-4.8-million
  • Replace for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists (connecting to Ridout Street). Cost: $11-million
  • Replace for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists (connecting to Central Avenue). Cost: $16-million
  • Remove bridge. Cost: $1.3-million

 

What would you like to see happen to the bridge?
Poll closed: Jun. 25, 2015 @ 12:00 AM

Although the bridge has become more of a landmark for London, MacRae says just the eastbound lane could still help with the flow of traffic.

“If traffic doesn’t go across Blackfriars Bridges, it still has to use another route.”

Although Jeff Lucas, who will soon be moving into the area, believes it will be better if was just built for pedestrains and cyclists.

“People are moving to the area and fixing up houses and I would like to see a lot of pedestrians and cyclists. That’s what I think we have to improve. They’re (City staff) are also trying to fix the transit in London and that to me is the solution.”

Lucas notes it could be better way for pedestrians and cyclists to travel instead of trying to mix in with traffic on Riverside and Oxford.

He believes this could have been a great example for other areas.

“It’s too bad to Blackfriars. I think that the neighbourhood could be a real model for the future of London. With different ones coming up like SoHo and really to get people out of cars.” 

Lucas says he liked seeing a mix of keeping the significance of it’s history and also allowing people to use it.

“There’s a limit of what you can do to keeps heritage. Structurally, maybe they can’t keep it exactly the way it was.”

Londoner Kevin liked the idea of having both pedestrians and vehicles using the bridge.

“I think it has to function to what it was made. It was made as a bridge. If it’s not used for vehicles, it loses its importance and it’s easier for it to close.”

As for what’s next with the plan, staff will be looking over the feedback from the public and then make any adjustments.

They will then present the Environmental Study Report to the Civic Works Committee and Council.

The detail design will be completed in 2015/2016 with construction beginning sometime in 2016/2017 depending on when everything is approved.

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