St. Paul Street bridge

Anybody who has walked across the Burgoyne bridge knows the meaning of the word terrified; never mind the tight access for cars, bikes and pedestrians, the whole bridge has never felt particularly safe.  A look while passing underneath shows rust and other signs of aging, and I’ve often wondered how much work needed to be done to make it last for another hundred years.

So this article wasn’t a surprise.  I think it goes without saying that the bridge needs to be replaced; in fact, one of my big complaints is that the regional transportation director has already made up his mind on the matter even though the region is paying for a study to examine the feasibility of repairs, and the study isn’t done yet.

That said, my question is simple – given the obvious need for a new bridge, why has the lobbying effort over the last few years been so paltry from City Council and Regional council for this project?  Unprecedented sums of money have been handed out at both the Provincial and Federal levels of government for improved infrastructure.  It seems to me that one of the few links between west and downtown St. Catharines qualifies as a fairly important infrastructure project – why are we only now getting Regional support to critical mass for lobbying the upper levels of government?  With all the ‘stimulus’ money that’s been sent down the QEW to St. Catharines, why wasn’t this project pushed two years ago?  Instead of, say, a parking garage?

Questions, questions, questions.  Unfortunately, this article had very little in the way of answers.