A new feedback opportunity on the Ward to Downtown Bridges
The City is once again calling for feedback on Ward to Downtown bridges. To fill a gap in earlier surveys feedback is being sought on the future of the Alan’s Dam Bridge:
The Alan’s Dam Bridge is currently abandoned and is directly underneath the Metrolinx Rail Bridge. Alan’s Dam is directly underneath the old Alan’s Dam Bridge (see the sketch map). Options around the Allan’s dam bridge were presented in the display board and presentations in an earlier round of consultation, however the ‘options and opportunities’ survey did not include direct questions around the future of the bridge, so the City is attempting to fill that gap by having the survey linked above.
The problem with the survey is that it lacks any context. The options presented are:
“Which options do you prefer for the Allan’s Dam Bridge?
Option 1: Do Nothing: No improvements. Bridge continues to deteriorate.
Option 2: Rehabilitate Bridge for Pedestrians & Cyclists: Fix the bridge where it is deteriorating and re-open for pedestrians and cyclists only.
Option 3: Remove Bridge: Permanent closure and removal of the bridge.”
Previous public meetings and surveys by the Ward Resident’s Association revealed public support for a grade separated trail passing underneath the bridges near Alan’s Mill and the Macdonell crossing. This can only happen if space is created underneath the bridges to allow passage of a trail. The options provided in the current survey don’t take this into account.
As seen in the sketch there is not enough room between Alan’s Dam and the Alan’s Dam Bridge to allow a trail. In fact, ice jams and debris sometimes clog this narrow gap creating hazards. In the interest of safety and the future construction of a grade separated crossing of the Macdonell intersection either Alan’s Dam or Alan’s Dam Bridge must be removed. The best course of action is to remove the Dam because a rehabilitated bridge could be used as a grade separated walking/cycle path between the ward and downtown.
The survey only addresses the bridge, even though planning for any part of this fairly complex intersection affects every other part.
The best way to answer this survey is to choose option 2 – Rehabilitate the bridge but mention in the note field that the dam but be removed, or moved upstream if the bridge is kept.
Some background on the Ward to Downtown bridges: