Over $130,000 in grant funding secured for Pedestrian Bridge repairs Print Article Font Size
Thanks to a grant awarded by the Columbia Basin Trust, the Town of Golden has secured $133,000 toward repairs needed on the iconic Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge.

As part of the Town’s efforts to improve asset management practices, professional condition assessments of municipal facilities have been underway over the past three years, with the Bridge included. In late December 2016, the Town received a detailed condition assessment report from ISL Engineering who were contracted to do the work.

“The findings came as a complete shock to staff,” says Town Chief Administrative Officer Jon Wilsgard. “Admittedly, we hadn’t conducted any detailed structural inspections since it was built 16 years ago, but for something that is supposed to last several centuries, to be in this bad a shape after so little time is something that could have never been reasonably forecast.”

It would seem that  changes to the original design, superstructure additions, and adjacent landscaping has inadvertently and to varying degrees, directed rain and melt water toward the abutments and bottom chord bearing points, subjecting them to long term and continual moisture which has in turn essentially rotted portions of the foundational elements of the Bridge.

With a hefty price tag attached to the proposed repairs, the Town was compelled to postpone some projects around the community, dip into reserves, and face the prospect of having to borrow a portion of the funds to make the required repairs outlined in the report.

“This granting from CBT is really wonderful because it will alleviate the need to borrow anything short term,” says Mayor Ron Oszust. “The Pedestrian Bridge represents an immensely significant symbol of the community’s tourism product offering, seeing hundreds if not thousands of visitors per year, and acting as an increasing if not vital daily commuter route within town. It is without question, Golden’s symbolic centerpiece for identity and for the community a metaphor for volunteerism and collaboration. It is for these reasons that Council was very supportive of Staff’s proposal to not only begin the repairs, but to seek out any grant funding available to ensure that this iconic structure remains safe and intact for many years to come.”

While most of the repairs are anticipated to begin in the fall of this year, some of the work has already been completed, including the required welding of the metal brackets underneath the bridge and stripping of the shingles on the outside chords – thus ensuring the safety of the structure for the upcoming summer season. The Town has also formally contracted ISL Engineering and they have been engaged to lead the project.

“The major work will be done in the fall, following the final Summer Kicks concert,” says Wilsgard. “This will ensure less disruption of the summer tourist season and events.”