Local lottery millionaire Bob Erb said he has $50,000 to lay plans for a bridge spanning the Skeena River to create a new and better traffic pattern for the city.
He believes the new bridge, which would cross the river at Ferry Island to intersect with Greig Ave. near the curling rink, would revitalize the downtown core and “alleviate the misery that the 4600 Lakelse Block merchants have suffered” since the construction of the bridges reaching west of Ferry Island and the Sande Overpass.
Erb said his plan will also reduce congestion on the Sande Overpass caused by the closing of the Frank Street level rail crossing last month.
“It’s not going to be any more costly than another overpass, but it’s going to revitalize the downtown. We have a hotel being built down at the old Co-op property and they’d sure like to see Rupert and Alaska ferry traffic coming through,” said Erb.
Erb described what he believes would be a “circular traffic flow” and “easy in, easy out circuit” coming from his bridge plan in tandem with continuous traffic flowing from the city over the old Skeena Bridge to Thornhill and the intersection of Hwy16 and Hwy37.
Large signs visible on the highway entering from both ends would read “Kitimat and Prince George via downtown Terrace,” and “Prince Rupert, Alaska and Haida Gwaii ferry via downtown Terrace,” said Erb.
“I want to see positive change at city council,” Erb said, accusing some members of a lack of forward thinking policy. “This is a hub city and you want to see growth and money realized through increased property values. You have to make big town decisions. But they have a small town mentality. Their vision is to keep it the quaint little town they grew up in and let the fast paced world pass by.”
Erb’s $50,000 offer is based on the city chipping in $100,000 to study his bridge idea.