TAYLOR, B.C.–B.C.’s ministry of transportation and infrastructure is opening a second phase of public engagement on the future of the Taylor bridge and five possible solutions the province has planned.

The engagement session will run from August 9th to September 30th, 2022 and can be done online. Options for both a formal written response or feedback using the province’s self-directed online tool are available.

Five conceptual solutions have been identified for the future of the Taylor bridge after the first phase of public engagement last fall. These five ideas are a focus of this second phase of engagement.

The first is maintaining the existing bridge and keeping it in good repair, and the second is an extensive renewal of the existing two-lane bridge, which will include a new solid deck surface that would minimize maintenance.

Option 1 and option 2: maintaining the Taylor Bridge without a full replacement.

The third concept is a replacement of the bridge with a new two lane bridge that will improve travel and create safer opportunities for on-foot and bicycle traffic to Peace Island Park.

Option 3: a replacement of the Taylor bridge with two lanes and improvements for active transportation.

The fourth concept is a new, four-lane bridge that will best support future economic growth in Northeast B.C.

Option 4 is replacing the Taylor Bridge with a four lane bridge.

The fifth and final possible plan is a two-bridge system that maintains the current bridge with a new, solid bridge deck and builds a new two lane bridge nearby to support increased traffic in the region.

Option 5 is a renewal of the existing bridge and the construction of an additional bridge to support increased traffic to the area.

Phase 2 of the plan for the bridge’s future also involves technical examinations of the bridge and surrounding area, including geotechnical drilling and dive teams that will explore the riverbed for erosion.

“While the findings of these technical examinations will help guide planning for the future of Taylor bridge, they also reaffirm the safety of the current bridge structure for motorists,” the ministry of transportation said in a release. 

The first phase of public engagement, opened last autumn, saw over 1000 comments from local residents, businesses, industry, and the general public. This phase, according to the provincial government, helped shaped concepts for the future of the bridge.

Concerns raised in this first phase included the continuous traffic delays caused by the 62-year-old bridge—and the economic and safety issues that closing the vital connection can cause for the region.

The bridge is also subject to weight and width restrictions that limit industry uses and cause extensive detours for oversize vehicles.

Of the 7,500 cars and trucks that use the bridge daily, 30 per cent are commercial trucks from industries that include oil and gas, mining, forestry, and agriculture.

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Grace Giesbrecht

Grace Giesbrecht is a news reporter for EnergeticCity.ca who recently graduated from Trinity Western University with a bachelor of arts in Media + Communications. She was born and raised just outside of Fort St. John. She began reporting for her university’s student newspaper and interned with Ottawa Life Magazine where she developed a passion for asking questions, telling stories, and the written word. In her free time, you can find her drinking coffee, snowboarding, or reading novels.