Perhaps it always was a dream that was unrealistic.
Perhaps we just wanted so hard to believe it would happen that we didn’t want to look too closely at the plan.
We speak of the Q2Q pedestrian access bridge that had been promised for Queensborough. A bridge that would connect New Westminster’s mainland waterfront with the island community of Queensborough.
But it never really made sense that a bridge over the Fraser River could ever be built for $20 million.
The location would require footings, and similar bridges that it was compared to in other countries always looked like they were shorter spans with much less challenging terrain.
So it shouldn’t have been a surprise that an updated and much more detailed estimate would place the bridge project at close to $40 million.
But it was still a big letdown.
There are many residents who bought homes in Port Royal with the understanding that the bridge was a done deal – it was just a matter of time before it was built. They had visions of walking to work or to the River Market, or cycling with the family across it on summer days. And some folks on the other side of the river also anticipated a new link to another community. (Although there were many who were not keen on the idea, or potential placements for access to the bridge.)
Some folks are looking at who to blame for the failure to build the bridge.
Well, the buck stops at city council.
New Westminster’s elected leaders know that they had created a pretty long wish list of expensive infrastructure projects in the city.
And it doesn’t take a political scientist to figure out that Queensborough’s project would be low on the priority list. In fact, you just have to drive down Ewen Avenue to know that Queensborough often gets the short end of the stick.
This is not to say city council is pleased with having to let go of the plan.
In fact, they will be quick to remind us that it’s probably just delayed.
City councillor Patrick Johnstone even wrote on Twitter: “Writing a blog about the Q2Q tonight, and now I’m all frustrated and conflicted and won’t sleep...”
That’s probably how a lot of New Westminster residents feel about it.