District of Kent workers finish flattening the ground last Wednesday

Kent Council briefs: Bridge building and historic site operations

Council discusses possibility of building a clear-span bridge across the McCallum Ditch at Bandrova Farms

McCallum bridge:

District of Kent staff are investigating a possible alternate bridge crossing on the McCallum Ditch at Bandrova Farms. The District has typically used culverts as they tend to be inexpensive, easy to install and maintain. According to a staff report to Council discussed at the May 11 Council meeting, there are approximately 530 culvert crossings in the District of Kent.

“While culverts are generally less expensive to initially purchase and install than bridges, they lack good flow characteristics and are prone to being clogged by debris and / or plugged by beaver dames,” wrote Councillor Duane Post, Agassiz-Harrison Mills drainage committee chair, in a report to Council.

The committee proposes a clear span bridge, considered more environmentally friendly as no in-stream work is typically required. District staff measurements indicate the bridge would need to be at least 12 metres long. Costs will vary depending on the type of bridge chosen, added to a geotechnical investigation which could cost between $8,000 and $10,000. A new bridge constructed of concrete and steel would have a lifespan of between 50 to 70 years.

The alternative is to install a culvert. The last one installed on the McCallum ditch cost approximately $13,000.

Mayor John Van Laerhoven, who is slowly taking on more duties over time at the District and attended his first Council meeting May 11 since his March motorcycle accident, said the District will opt for an option that is economical but safe.

Staff will examine an alternate bridge crossing at 2461 Bodnar Road and report back to Council at a later meeting.

Kilby:

Council approved the operating agreement with the Fraser Heritage Society for the 2015 operating season at Kilby Historic Site. The District provided $50,000 – money it received from the Province for operating the site – to the Fraser Heritage Society to operate Kilby on a day-to-day basis. Another $50,000 will be given to the District at the completion of additional RV sites and campsite washroom improvements by March 20, 2016.