The City of Edmonton and West Edmonton Mall will share the costs to rebuild a pedestrian bridge in the west end, which connects the mall to the West Meadowlark Park neighbourhood.
That is the decision of the city’s Subdivision & Development Appeal Board, in a report dated last Friday.
The decision comes after the bridge over 170 Street just north of 87 Avenue was demolished last summer after it was determined by both the mall and the city that it was a public safety hazard.
The permit to demolish the bridge was issued on June 21, 2018 on “an emergency basis,” according to the board.
When the permit was issued, a condition was imposed that required WEM to pay for the costs to replace the bridge. That condition was not discussed at a joint meeting between the city and the mall at the time and was “imposed in error,” the board said.
As such, a joint submission from the two parties has been accepted and the costs to replace the bridge will be shared. Both parties agreed that “their joint submission is the best way to resolve the cost of replacing the bridge because it will avoid years of litigation in an attempt to determine who is responsible for maintaining and replacing the structure,” read part of the board’s decision.
“The proposed LRT expansion will require the acquisition of some land from West Edmonton Mall. Therefore, West Edmonton Mall and the City of Edmonton both agree that the most efficient course of action is to deal with the matters together,” the decision continued.
“The end result will benefit the residents of this area, West Edmonton Mall and the taxpayers.”
Watch below: A debate has begun over the possible rebuild of the pedestrian bridge over 170 Street in west Edmonton (Filed July 2018)
The land on the east side of 170 Street is owned by Alberta Health Services. Because of that, the city said it is optimistic the provincial government will also chip in money for the project.
The city’s lawyer said conceptual planning for the new pedestrian bridge is underway. A timeline for the project was not released in the board’s decision.