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Nanaimo city council votes again on Bowen Park bridge replacement, this time approving project

$425,000 budget approved to replace 1960s-era Lenhart Bridge in Bowen Park
After the city’s finance and audit committee recommended cancelling a project to replace the Lenhart Bridge into Bowen Park, city council reconsidered the decision and approved the additional spending needed to complete the work. (News Bulletin file photo)

The decision to approve an extra $188,000 to replace a span crossing the Millstone River in Bowen Park turned out not to be a financial bridge too far for the City of Nanaimo.

The Lenhart Bridge, which has connected Riverside Drive from the foot of Lenhart Avenue to the Bowen Park trailway since the 1960s, was to be replaced at a cost of about $237,000, but a revised cost estimate came in this spring $188,000 over budget. Nanaimo councillors, in a tie vote at a finance committee meeting June 15, recommended cancelling the project.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo councillors, in tie vote, recommend cancelling bridge replacement in Bowen Park

However, only eight of Nanaimo’s nine city council members were present at the finance meeting and so Coun. Sheryl Armstrong, who had missed the meeting due to illness, asked at a council meeting Monday, June 20, that the item be brought back to the table for reconsideration.

After some wrangling over the proper process to revive a motion defeated at the committee level, the motion to approve the additional $188,000 for the bridge was reconsidered and passed in a 5-4 vote.

Councillors voted along the same lines as in the June 15 finance and audit committee meeting, with councillors Erin Hemmens, Ian Thorpe, Tyler Brown and Jim Turley opposed.

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Chris Bush

About the Author: Chris Bush

As a photographer/reporter with the Nanaimo News Bulletin since 1998.
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