Local Ottawa stuff Politics

Hey Jim. My son’s got an idea for the Prince of Wales train bridge

When my 9-year old son heard about the City of Ottawa’s plan to block off the historic Prince of Wales truss bridge, physician the controversy around it, more about and Jim Watson’s aversion to lawsuits on the grounds that: “It’s not safe to be on an unused, rickety old train bridge.”, my kid begged me to go out again last night to walk across the bridge while we still can.

So, like any irresponsible parent, we did a bit of civil-disobedience-trespassing-for-the-public-good. Now, you can disparage my parenting all you like, and neither my boy nor I are engineering experts, but here are a few things my boy said as we crossed that I think should be added to the public record.

“This place is AWESOME!!!”

Just a small selection of the Instagram shots tagged recently at the Bridge.
Just a small selection of the Instagram shots tagged recently at the Bridge.

He’s right. It is. It is almost impossible to quantify its awesomeness. The bridge has Ottawa’s most spectacular, Instagram-worthy views, and it connects the two cities in a way that made sense in 1881 and *should* be self-evident today. If you’ve never done it, GO and check it out while you still can!

“It’s a shame the O-Train doesn’t run across it.”

Yup. It sure is. There really should already be BOTH a train to Gatineau AND a cantilevered platform for bikers, walkers, and even cross-country skiers in winter. But you see, there’s no money (as the Mayor just told me on Twitter)… unless you want $58 Million to widen Greenbank Road I guess… but lest we get bogged down, let’s ponder my son’s next bit of wisdom.

“There’s already a path here!”

He’s right again. At least on the Ottawa side, a sturdy old 1.5m-wide access walkway goes all the way across. Check the picture below if you’ve never seen it.

“It doesn’t seem that unsafe to me. All they need are railings.”

Hmm… He may have something there. Right now, as you cross, all you have between you and the water is an old rusty wire of dubious support value. A solid set of railings with maybe some new decking and lighting along the existing walkway could SURELY be set up for a lot less than the widely quoted $10+ Million price tag for a full pedestrian/ cycling bridge.

So Jim Watson: how about this idea from a nine-year-old kid?

Nah. Probably too easy.

ScreenHunter_309 Aug. 19 10.39
Artist’s (sloppy) rendering of a simpler, more cost-effective solution for the Prince of Wales train bridge – from that idea by my 9-year-old son.

4 replies on “Hey Jim. My son’s got an idea for the Prince of Wales train bridge”

Well the reason why Mayor Watson is not interested in the bridge is he is at another opening, this time a bag of Miss Vickies in the Glebe. If he truly cared about the city he would be in favour of these projects and not being pandered to by developers, who now own the city.

Gee I could have lost my life in 1965 when I crossed this bridge upon leaving Ottawa for Regina and returning a few weeks later. Life is so so dangerous.

The money they spend on the gates could have been used towards railings secured in an additional layer of wood, placed on top of the existing wood. They could have also went to one of the major hardware chains and asked them to sponsor it. Perhaps in 2017 for Canada’s 150th ?

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