The Cloverdale footbridge will have to be torn down and rebuilt to accommodate construction of the Valley Line LRT, and one group says they’d like to see a temporary ferry service across the river in the meantime.
Paul Bunner, with the Cloverdale Community League, says a ferry will be a convenient mode of transportation.
“Thousands of people who currently use the Cloverdale footbridge, aren’t going to have an easy way to get back across the river,” explains Bunner. “This would be a really good pilot project for a few years, (in anticipation) of a future where water taxis are pretty common.”
The city says pedestrians and cyclists can use the Low Level Bridge instead.
But Bunner, with the Cloverdale Community League, says they’re hearing positive feedback on the ferry idea.
“Ordinary Edmontonians really respond positively to the idea of getting back and forth across the river all summer long,” says Bunner. “It could run eight months of the year or so. We think it’s a good idea, but so far we haven’t been able to excite Transportation about the possibilities.”
Bunner adds that if the Edmonton Queen is sold for scrap, there will be an extra need for a ferry.
“Rafters Landing, that wonderful facility that was originally designed for paddlers and small boats of all kinds, is now going to be available to the public again,” says Bunner. “Including, potentially, the southern terminus of our small, simple summer ferry.”
It will take an estimated 34 months to tear down and rebuild the Cloverdale footbridge.
Bunner says the Valley Line came in 500 million dollars under budget, so they could use that money to fund the ferry service.
Ground was broken Friday on the Valley Line LRT.
The Valley Line LRT is expected to be operational in 2020. (km/sj)