Risk and cost simply too high

Although, officially named the Kawkawa Lake Road Bridge, the Howe truss structure that has spanned the Coquihalla River for 50 years in Hope, has a persona of its own – thanks to Sylvester Stallone and the filming of First Blood over 25 years ago.

Although, officially named the Kawkawa Lake Road Bridge, the Howe truss structure that has spanned the Coquihalla River for 50 years in Hope, has a persona of its own – thanks to Sylvester Stallone and the filming of First Blood over 25 years ago.

Now commonly referred to as the Rambo Bridge, the span does entice visitors to stay a little longer in our community. In the summer, drivers occasionally dodge film enthusiasts at the narrow entrance, while a fan or two  strains grab a quick snap shot of the spot where John Rambo was tossed ‘outta’ town by the sheriff.

A recent question posted on Facebook, asking friends to wade in on the discussion of saving the bridge, garnered a variety of local responses. The option to keep it as a walking bridge took top spot. The tongue in cheek option to “Blow it up – Rambo style” was a close second.

Now, with the completion of a new bridge, the day of reckoning for the Rambo Bridge nears, but is it worth saving? Remember at this point it is your dime.

If the creosote-encased structure is kept as a novelty and not a necessity and should it fail in a future flood, damage to the CN Bridge and clean-up costs may just be levied against by the district and their understandably skittish municipal insurance agency.

On the other hand, the cost of raising the bridge to a safe level would be costly, and then there is the replacement of the rust-weary tie-rods that hold the structure together.

Removing the structure and erecting it as a photo-op was another well supported Facebook option. But does the cost of replicating the movie set outweigh the economic tourism benefit of the small fan base that actually makes it into the community? And, as pointed out by Councillor Donna Pleadwell at the last council meeting, will the visitor attraction, possibly costing $100,000 to do it right, become a burden to the taxpayer in 20 years and follow in the footsteps of the liability-risking mining display that we just demolished?

No economically solid proposals have been fielded, by supporters, private business, or community groups, to save the bridge or relocate even parts of it as a permanent display.

The fate of the bridge looks sealed. Council simply does not have the stomach to ask our stretched-to-the-limit taxpayers to take the risk or bear the costs alone… and nor should they.

 

Just Posted

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Dock has reportedly been unused for a long time

People in Metro Vancouver can expect to experience a short wave of heat just in time for Father’s Day, according to Environment Canada. (Black Press Media files)
Short-lived heatwave headed for Metro Vancouver this weekend

Temperatures are expected to be up to 10 degrees higher than average Sunday and Monday

Most Read