FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Peace River North MLA Dan Davies says the province needs to take proactive action to rebuild the Taylor Bridge to save taxpayer money.
At the North Central Local Government Associations’ AGM and Conference, Transportation Minister Rob Fleming was on a virtual panel when questioned about a new Taylor Bridge timeline by Mayor Lori Ackerman.
Davies said the minister’s response was “a big nothing sandwich.”
“We’ve been hearing it since 2017, and it’s been the same response. The responses are getting more elaborate to say we’re looking at it deeper, we’re consulting, we’re working with X, Y, Z,” Davies said.
“We’re in budget debate right now and have been for the last number of weeks. And will be for the next few weeks. The ministry of transportation’s coming up. I will be asking them questions again, but it’s not in the budget. It’s not even in the long-term capital plan,” he continued.
Davies says he will continue to advocate for getting a new Taylor Bridge but believes more may need to be done than just replacing the bridge.
“Mayor Fraser had a great analogy: we don’t just need to look at the Taylor bridge. We need to look at that whole Peace Valley corridor. What does that look like in improving it from the top of the south Taylor hill to the top of the north Taylor hill,” Davies said.
Davies says the bridge requires a lot of pre-work, including engineering and believes the province needs to begin procuring that work soon to save taxpayer money.
“They need to get it on the books. Things aren’t getting cheaper as well. So I think on a project that’s going to be five or $600 million, which is probably in the area that it will be, they need to start procuring some of that work right now,” Davies stated.
“The bridge does need to be done. The government said that, so get on it now.”
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