Cost of replacing London’s Victoria Bridge raises concerns at committee meeting

Victoria Bridge runs along Ridout Street, just south of Horton Street over the Thames River.
Victoria Bridge runs along Ridout Street, just south of Horton Street over the Thames River. City of London

The cost of replacing a bridge south of the downtown might be too much for city politicians to stomach.

The Civic Works Committee heard Tuesday that the price-tag for the proposed overhaul of Victoria Bridge is $14.1 million.

But, the committee also heard that price is for an arched bridge, a high-end designthat would include two lanes of vehicle traffic, a protected bike lane, a sidewalk on one side, and a multi-use pathway on the other.

READ MORE: Future of Victoria Bridge on the docket at London committee meeting Tuesday

According to Doug McRae, the city’s manager of transportation planning and design, the current plan was developed in response to comments at public meetings, where he says the community called for something more aesthetically pleasing for the bridge that straddles the Thames River at Ridout Street.

Story continues below advertisement

The other option would be a traditional concrete girder bridge, a more common design.

If council decided to go with the girder bridge, McRae says it would lower the cost by $2.3 million.

READ MORE: City councillors endorse ultra-high-speed fibre optic network in London

Committee members voted to send the matter to council next week, approving the environmental assessment, but with the committee undecided on how much the city is willing to pay. It therefore remains unclear what the final design will be.

The bridge’s price-tag is expected to face scrutiny during the 2019 budget review.

Meanwhile, the Corporate Services Committee endorsed a report updating an independent review of the city’s harassment policies with no discussion.