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Charitable foundation rides to rescue of Valley Inn Road bridge

the Patrick J. McNally Charitable Foundation is donating up to $1 million to restore the Valley Inn Road bridge.

An iconic footbridge, which spans Hamilton Harbour at the outlet of Grindstone Creek, is getting a new lease on life.

Almost one year after it was closed due to structural problems detected during a City of Hamilton inspection, the Patrick J. McNally Charitable Foundation is donating up to $1 million to restore the Valley Inn Road pedestrian bridge.

Read more: Non-profit offers last-minute plan to save Hamilton’s SoBi bike share program

The bridge is a popular connection for runners, cyclists and users of the trails at Royal Botanical Gardens, and a focal point of the annual Around The Bay Road Race, but Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says it’s not essential or a “top priority.”

In the midst of COVID-19-related budget challenges, Eisenberger says “having the McNally Foundation step up, got it done long before we would have ever gotten to it,” adding the city is “very grateful.”

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Politicians in both Hamilton and Burlington must vote to accept the donation, since the bridge spans the two cities, but Eisenberger says the project is estimated to cost $600,000, well under the million-dollar contribution.

Read more: Hamilton Around The Bay Road Race registrations on pace, despite route change

The McNally Foundation also came to the rescue of Hamilton’s SoBi bike-share program through an emergency $100,000 donation earlier this year.

In stepping up to repairs the crumbling footbridge, the charitable foundation notes that it is an important link to the Royal Botanical Gardens, and its trails and marshlands.

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