News / Calgary

Calgary's Plus15 network needs nearly $8 million worth of repairs

The covered bridges that link downtown buildings help pedestrians avoid the cold in winter

Walkways along the Plus15 network are often used for display banners and art throughout the year.

ELIZABETH CAMERON / Calgary Freelance

Walkways along the Plus15 network are often used for display banners and art throughout the year.

Calgary's Plus15 network is in need of a little TLC – to the tune of $7.8 million.

The city-owned network of elevated walkways – most of them fully enclosed – allow downtown workers to get around the city on foot without enduring winter weather.

The pedestrian bridges recently underwent a review by the city's transportation department that looked at structural, mechanical and electrical systems in the network.

Now that report is coming back to a council committee, and the price tag for a fix is becoming clear: six of the bridges need design and construction work totaling $7,080,000, and another eight connectors need preliminary design work that will cost $800,000.

Work on four of the bridges is already underway – the report says some work could not wait, after the bridges were struck by vehicles too large to be travelling underneath them.

Coun. Sean Chu, the newly-appointed vice chair of the Priorities and Finance Committee, wanted to know why this ask for funding is coming just days after the city finished its budget process.

"If we already knew this was going to happen – why not put it in the budget?" asked Chu.

In the report, administration said it believes the money can be found in existing reserves and will not affect taxpayer's rates.

Chu added that he feels the Plus 15 system is important for Calgary as a winter city, and he would like to see the network extended in the future.

More on Metronews.ca