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New Options for a Fort York Pedestrian Bridge

The following is from Councillor Mike Layton, who is updating us about options being put forward for a less expensive Fort York pedestrian and cycling bridge.

You may remember that the original plan for the bridge was killed in an underhanded way by David Shiner, reportedly acting on orders from Rob Ford, because $23 million dollars is apparently too much for an award winning design that would connect neighbourhoods, provide some much needed pedestrian and cycling infrastructure in the area as well as bring more attention to the oft-forgotten Fort York.

What’s that? The cancelled Vehicle Registration Fee brought in $60 million every year?  Hmm.

Fort York Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge

After several months, a few different concepts for the Fort York Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge are coming forward. They all have similar design elements to the award winning design previously considered for the bridge.

Our preferred proposal includes two bridges, with one bridge linking Wellington Street south to the Ordnance Street area and a second bridge spanning from Fort York north to the Ordnance Street area. Both spans would be linked by a park and would be fully accessible from Ordnance Street. This option has better access, use of space and most reflects the original design.

Staff have presented three preferred alternatives and have recommended the final configuration be determined as part of the development of a new plan for the Ordnance Street area bound by the CN rail tracks – an exercise that will begin shortly. All of the options are predicted to be far less expensive than the original design, although the costs vary for each proposed configuration.

This report is being brought forward the November 3, 2011 Public Works and Infrastructure Committee tomorrow. You can find the report online here and the images of the bridge options here, but I recommend reading the report first.

The Fort York bridge is a critically important transportation corridor in our neighbourhood. It will link residents on King Street and Wellington with the Waterfront and Fleet Street residents with King Street. It will also help open up Fort York to the entire city.

Some history of the Fort York Bridge from the past 6 month is here.

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