THE PROVINCIAL transportation ministry has repeated its position that the Sande Overpass, the only route over the CN rail tracks dividing the city, is sufficient.
Queries were made when a two-person ministry crew, complete with survey equipment, was at work on the overpass July 4.
But a ministry email said the work picked up from a first survey earlier this year.
“The survey work …. was done to supplement the original survey data, as there was still snow on the ground when the original survey was conducted, which can affect accuracy,” the email stated.
The work ensures “the survey is complete, in the event that improvements to the intersection are warranted. As noted earlier, the ministry has looked at the Sande intersection and [has] determined that it is a functional and safe intersection. As such, at this time there are no immediate plans for works or construction on the intersection,” the email concluded.
Calls for a second overpass have grown since the Transport Canada ordered CN to block the Frank St. level rail cross to vehicle traffic because of safety concerns.
That leaves the Sande Overpass and the Kenney St. level rail crossing as the only routes connecting the city.
To date, neither the city, the provincial government nor CN have agreed on a way to either re-open the Frank St. crossing or lay the groundwork for a second overpass.
A second overpass could cost at least $9 million based on a preliminary cost estimate prepared six years ago and neither of the three parties has made a financial commitment.
A federal grant to pay for a portion of a second overpass was approved in 2007 after an application was made by CN. But the company subsequently decided an overpass wasn’t needed to meet its rail needs.