Work has begun on the Kinnaird Bridge to bring water and sewer from the City of Castlegar to the airport lands on the east side of the Columbia River.
Members of Castlegar City Council, representatives from the Ministry of Transportation, and members of the media were given a tour of the bridge and shown the work that has been done already on phase one.
“The beginning of the project entails hanging some hangers under the bridge on both sides,” said Kevin Chernoff, city councillor and member of the transportation and civic works committee. “From those hangers, the water and sewer lines that will service the airport and Doukhobor museum lands will come across.”
The project, which has been in the works since 2007, is expected to be completed by mid-December. “It’s been a long process but it’s finally here,” said Chernoff.
A 400mm (16”) water main is being installed on one side with additional capacity for future demands. This pipe will also be insulated with heat tracing cable so no freezing can occur. On the other side an 8” sanitary main also sized for future flows. In addition, conduits for communications and power will also be installed.
“It’s going to allow us to diversify the economy,” said Chernoff. “It allows us to look at future projects that would happen at the airport lands. In the long term, it’ll reduce our taxes. The more of these businesses we can attract to the land, the better it is for the tax base. We have some criticism over expanding out this way – but I know for a fact we’ve lost some companies and businesses that have looked at moving here because we don’t have larger tracts of land. We want them here. We want to be the economic hub of the West Kootenays.”
The airport and Doukhobor Museum lands are currently serviced by a traditional septic and disposal field system and although the airport has had suitable water for present, the Doukhobor Museum itself has been on bottled water. With the expanded system we will also be able to meet present and future needs as required for expansion, fire protection along with protecting the aquifer, said Chernoff.
Phase one will cost approximately $2 million. Phase two will consist of hooking up the pipes on the bridgework to the airport lands and to the water and sewer on the city side.