Thursday, September 3, 2009

Groundhog Day Redux - again & again

What if they had a party & this time you weren't invited?

Cycling across the liftbridge today I noticed a bevy of white helmets marching in unison on the pier. Curiosity got the better of me. I interrupted my ride on a beautiful fall day to see what the fuss was about. To my surprise it was MP Mike Wallace & an entourage of PWGSC people with the ubiquitous media contingent.

While Mike talked to Jason, then CHCH, I passed time by talking to the PWGSC entourage at the liftbridge. Today, they announced the awarding of a ~$4 million contract to paint, scrape and rehabilitate the bridge. (2nd picture) Strangely, no one from either city was there. On March 09, it was standing room only, as Mike announced the bridge rehabilitation with media & municipal politicians from Hamilton & Burlington in attendance accompanied by senior city hall staffers. (top picture)

You learn a lot kibitzing with PWGSC. Pedestrians & cyclists shouldn't feel left out! PWGSC has come up with 5 options for making the bridge safer. This includes building a 2nd bridge, synced with the first and the scurrilous do nothing option. Mike Wallace added a few more options PWGSC didn't think of bringing the total to 9! Of course, it all depends on funding.

In the next week or two, Mike Wallace will invite cycling committees from Hamilton, Burlington & other stakeholders to a roundtable discussion to deliberate the merits of the various options.  Thanks Mike!  We'll look forward to the discussions.

Per PWGSC, its not the implementation that takes so long to get it done. Its the design & preparation before the work begins that takes time. A project such as the lakeside path would take 5 years!  Slow but true, given the bridge facelift announcement was originally posted in the Spec in Sept. 2008.

We've been told PWGSC is the obstacle behind getting a lakeside path. Not so, cried the woman from PWGSC! Its the funding. If we find a way to pay for it, PWGSC would be too happy to build it!

Isn't it time for that second round of stimulus funding?

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