The Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge is in the news again with more concerns about its capacity and safety. The solution for most people surveyed by The Observer is a new and bigger bridge. ” I want what all men want, I just want it more!”, a quote from the movie “Troy.”
I have ridden my bicycle across the bridge several times and do not feel the least bit safer with the new warning signal than prior to it being installed. $200,000 could have been put toward a proper pedestrian and bicycle pathway.
The calls to widen or twin the bridge ignore facts that the provincial government will consider when determining whether to even consider such a project. For example, the Port Mann Bridge has 125,000 vehicles cross each day with ten lanes, 12,500 vehicles per lane. The Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge has 12,000 to 13,000 vehicles for two lanes, per previously reported anecdotal estimates, 6,000 to 6,500 vehicles per lane – half of a bridge only 10 years old with a much higher percentage of large truck traffic.
The “sidewalk” on the Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge was not designed to accommodate pedestrians; it is a curb only for the purpose of mounting lighting poles and the guard rails. Continuing to call for a whole new bridge is detracting from the real, legitimate and urgent need for a proper pedestrian and bicycle pathway.
The provincial government is not going to, and should not, spend billions of dollars on a new bridge with such low traffic volume, but it could be persuaded to construct a pedestrian pathway to bring the bridge up to modern standards. This should be the focus of local governments and agrees with 85 per cent of Observer survey respondents – a four lane highway to downtown Agassiz.
Harrison Hot Springs