The overall budget for the Fraser Footbridge and River Trail Lighting project in 2020 was $1,069,449.52.
However, a combination of archaeological work, the pandemic, inflation and supply issues pushed the project back a couple of years and drove the price up.
City Manager Byron Johnson addressed the archaeological work at last (Tuesday) night’s City Council meeting.
“What happened is from the start of this project to the final stage we’re at now, the archaeological review process completely changed. The city went from having a chance find process for archaeological artifacts to moving to the industry standard, which is a blanket approval and work done by Stantec and approval by the province. So a very significant change to the process which resulted in probably about a year and a half to two year delay.”
The City was originally going to be responsible for 20 percent of the project cost, or roughly 214 thousand dollars, and the Northern Development Initiative Trust was going to pay for the other 80 percent.
Now another 418 thousand dollars is needed, money that will come out of the city’s gas tax fund, which means Council will now pay almost half of the final bill.
City Manager Byron Johnson also went over the project details at last night’s meeting.
“This is a project for the bridge entry on the downtown side, so to rebuild the front entrance to that foot bridge, but most of the project is for the trail work along from the bridge up to the hospital, and there is going to be lighting installed on that strip.”
Johnson went on to say that the idea is to open up that venue along the Riverfront Trail for people to be able to use it for walking in the evening or the winter months when it is dark.
The contract to do the work has been awarded to Fresno Construction