[Recent letter to the TC Update: Printed!]
After the success of the recent counter petition process I hope there is now time to do a proper analysis of the seismic liabilities of the Johnson St Bridge compared to the cost of a seismic upgrade. I wonder if the referendum would reduce this liability by constituting the city’s due diligence. According to The Law of Canadian Municipal Corporations (Rogers 1971), the standard of care for municipal roads is dependent on the economic means of the municipality and the requirements of the public (see http://waterfronttrail.org/pdfs/books/design/Section%204.pdf page 5).
It also seems prudent to include a study of other city-owned earthquake liabilities such as city hall and crystal pool to determine if the bridge deserves priority by this factor alone.
If it’s determined that a seismic upgrade is not required due to liability issues alone the referendum should include the option of forgoing it entirely. The option between a replacement and a seismic upgrade of the current seems to weigh heavily in favour of replacement.
The main question for me then is not whether to replace the bridge, but whether a seismic upgrade is economically prudent. If it is, let’s replace the Blue Bridge. If it isn’t, refurbishment might be the way to go.