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THURSDAY, November 24, 2011 ™


TODAY’S FORECAST Cloudy, showers High: 7 C Low: -4 C

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LEFT: Communities In Bloom co-chair Gay Pooler and Kamloops Heritage Commission chairman Andrew Yarmie unveil a commemorative plaque at the south end of the Red Bridge on Wednesday, Nov. 23, during a heritage recognition ceremony celebrating the bridge’s 75th anniversary. Dave Eagles photos/KTW

Bridging past and present with heritage tag By Jeremy Deutsch STAFF REPORTER

It’s an iconic landmark that has stood as a symbol of the link between two communities for 125 years. Now, the Red Bridge connecting the City of Kamloops to the Mount Paul Industrial Park and the Tk’emlups Indian Band (TIB) reserve is getting some recognition. On Wednesday, Nov. 23, the bridge was honoured with the installation of a Heritage Recognition Plaque at the new landscaped entrance to the bridge along Lorne Street. “I think it’s going to make the bridge a much more touristattractive place,” said Andrew Yarmie, chairman of the Kamloops Heritage Commission.

The plaque is just the start of enhancements for the 75-year-old structure. The heritage commission is teaming up with the Communities in Bloom committee and the TIB for three projects on the wood trestle bridge as part the city’s bicentennial celebration next year. The projects include beautifying entrances to the bridge and improving signage, building two kiosks to make its history available to the public and flooding the structure with solar-powered lighting. Yarmie explained the plan is to build two kiosks, one at the entrance of the bridge along Lorne Street and one below along the Rivers Trail. The commission is in the midst of getting cost estimates on the kiosks, but Yarmie noted

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the organization is also looking at grants from the provincial government. He said the solar-lighting enhancement will be more expensive, but the commission is hoping to get sponsors from the community to help fund the project. Work on the entrance improvements has already started. When complete, Yarmie believes the project will make the bridge a major tourist attraction. The original Red Bridge was built in 1887, followed by a second version in 1912. The current bridge was built in 1936 and is one of five crossings over the river in the city. While the Red Bridge basks in the attention, it doesn’t appear a new crossing in Kamloops is in the works any time soon. Though a sixth crossing for the

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city has been passively discussed for years, such a span would fall into the mega-project category. David Trawin, the city’s director of development and engineering services, said this past summer the city is looking at transportation models and what kind of future projects might be needed and their possible cost. He noted a possible Singh Street bridge is in the long-term plans, but it could be a couple of decades away. He also suggested the project is estimated at $300 million and the price tag could jump to a half billion by the time it’s needed. It’s a project in which the mayor of Kamloops in this decade doesn’t see a major need. “The fact people have to stop at the odd traffic light and wait, we don’t have it so bad in Kamloops,”

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Peter Milobar said. The projected population threshold for another north-south Kamloops crossing is 120,000. The city has about 87,000 residents. Milobar said a new bridge could become more pressing if the city started to see significantly higher density than what is planned for in the Brocklehurst area. Barring a sudden spending splurge by the provincial or federal governments, Milobar believes a Singh Street bridge is long way off. There has also been rumours about a bridge linking the airport to the Pineview Valley area and Highway 1, but Trawin said he couldn’t see that becoming a reality unless a huge industrial development was considering moving into that part of Kamloops.

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Nov. 24  
Nov. 24  

Grey Cup Week in full swing Page A37 Thursday, November 24, 2011 Volume 24 No. 94 Kamloops, B.C., Canada 30 cents at Newsstands T H U R S...