Council to consider options for pedestrian bridge

KAGAWONG – Billings Township council has directed staff to further research the repair/replacement of the Kagawong River Trails pedestrian bridge, including options for relocation, and report back to council with options and preliminary cost estimates.

“Everyone has seen the memo we have received from staff, and the report on the status of that bridge,” said Mayor Ian Anderson, at a recent meeting of council.

The pedestrian bridge across the Kagawong River, part of the trail system, failed earlier this fall and has been closed since. This bridge connects the main trail along the western river bank with the higher-difficulty trail along the eastern ridge.

Staff have identified three options for addressing the bridge: one, to remove the bridge without replacement; two, to repair/replace the bridge in the same location; and three, replace the bridge in an alternate location.

Option one would effectively shut down the two trails and remove a popular viewing platform. As these trails are extremely popular with both residents and tourists, this is not a recommended option at this time, the memo noted. 

Option two would maintain the status quo; however, the existing location is a side expanse of the river and may not be the most suitable or cost-effective location for a bridge, council was informed. And, option three would maintain trail connectivity but would potentially require some trail rerouting on the eastern side of the river.

It was further explained that the costs of options two and three are unknown at this time. It may be the case that changing the location of the bridge could reduce costs if a narrower crossing is possible.

Council passed a motion to direct staff to further research the repair/replacement of the Kagawong River Trails pedestrian bridge, including options for relocation, and report back to council with options and preliminary costs estimates.