Kenora Mayor Dave Canfield is hoping to see some repairs taking place soon.
He says that the repairs to the Seventh Avenue Bridge haven't started yet, but the project has made some progress. Canfield gave an update on the project.
“The bridge is going out to tender. We did get the funding after being turned down three times. We had some very good conversations with Ministers and the Premier that brought the funding for us. We're looking forward to that. It will be going to tender this fall,” he said.
Canfield noted that the city had planned to replace the bridge in 2017, but was unsuccessful in his efforts to obtain funding from the province. Ontario is now providing roughly $1 million for the project.
Following a 2014 inspection by WSP Canada Inc. the Seventh Avenue Bridge was determined to be in the worst shape in the City. The consultants recommended that the bridge be replaced within the next 2 to 3 years.
With the bridge in need of replacement, Canfield says it could be a great opportunity for an upgrade.
“I'm still hoping that there's going to be a wooden bridge there. There are companies who do wooden bridges. Environmentally, they're way better than any other bridge. Aesthetically, they're way prettier than any other bridge. Financially, I think that we can do it even cheaper than steel and concrete. The oldest bridges in the world are wooden. I think it's time that we started converging,” he said.
The mayor says wooden bridges store greenhouse gases, while concrete and steel bridges release carbon.
In order to pay the $2,000,000 for repairs to the Keewatin Bridge, the city had to spend their gas tax fund. Canfield noted that Kenora was expecting the government to pay for the bill.