Recent images of 'crumbling' Burrard Bridge neglect – see slideshow
If you’ve been enjoying some beautiful sunsets in Vancouver this last week, undoubtedly one of your preferred vantage points would include the iconic Burrard Street Bridge. Not only is it an attractive piece of public infrastructure, it has also become an iconic symbol of our beautiful west coast city.
Unfortunately, although the Burrard Bridge may help to frame a beautiful English Bay sunset, the majestic old lady is literally crumbling apart.
Last week a concerned resident called me to say how upset she was with the condition of the bridge. She snapped a series of photographs which clearly demonstrate exposed rebar and crumbling concrete. The photos reveal the bridge remains in desperate need of repair.
If you recall, the previous NPA council originally wanted to spend about $60M to repair the bridge along with construct a new dedicated bicycle lane. When Vision Vancouver took office in 2008 these plans were shelved to make way for the temporary bike lane trial.
As it stands, despite the fact the bridge is clearly falling apart, plans to upgrade and bring it back to its former glory remain on hold. Mayor Gregor and his caucus have decided they don’t want to do any major upgrades to the bridge until the “trial” bike lane experiment is over. That won’t be for some time yet.
Meanwhile, tourists visiting one of Vancouver’s most famous landmarks must be wondering why we have let it fall into such disrepair. Can you imagine the Sydney Opera House or the Golden Gate Bridge being allowed to age and weather as badly as the Burrard Bridge? Quite unlikely.
Vancouver council obviously had enough money build new bike lanes on Dunsmuir, Hornby and Burrard Bridge, so why not begin work as soon as possible on repairing Burrard Bridge?
Back in April 2010 GlobalTV's Rumina Daya reported on the poor condition of the bridge, yet it would appear that almost nothing has happened since then. At the time, big chunks of concrete were falling off the bridge down below to the sidewalk. The City responded by quickly installing nets to catch the concrete before it could accidentally injure someone.
According to the City’s website, any work on upgrading the Burrard Bridge will have to wait for a little while yet. That means we could go through yet another tourist season with one of the world’s most beautiful art deco style bridges looking more than a bit worse for wear.
What do you think? Should Vancouver council be putting a higher priority on fixing the Burrard Bridge? Let us know by leaving a comment below.