I’ve had a number of messages regarding the West Edmonton Mall (WEM) footbridge over 170th Street and thought it would be best to provide a quick update.
First, it is important to note that the footbridge is WEM’s responsibility. They were planning on doing some refurbishment but based on a condition assessment as they started some of their work, it was determined that refurbishment would be far more expensive than a full replacement. At that point, WEM Management made the decision to demolish the existing bridge and engage with the City on the future of that footbridge.
The permit to demolish the footbridge was issued by the City Administration on the condition that the footbridge is replaced. While there are some ongoing conversations between our City Administration and WEM Management, WEM is currently planning to appeal the condition to replace the footbridge to the Subdivision Development Appeal Board (SDAB). Assuming the appeal proceeds, it will be heard sometime in September (tentatively). City staff will be on hand at the appeal to argue the case that the bridge needs to be replaced as it is an important part of our transportation infrastructure.
Appeal notices are only sent to addresses within 60m of the site but considering the impact of this bridge on many west end residents, I felt it was important to provide an update for everyone. Any person is allowed to attend an SDAB meeting and speak to the issue. If you believe this bridge should be replaced, consider attending the meeting and registering to speak. Keep track of agendas and register to speak here.
Prior to being on Council, I managed a business in West Edmonton Mall. As a resident of Meadowlark and then Jasper Park, I used that bridge five days a week for close to six years as it was a safe and direct way to cross 170th Street. I know staff and customers use that bridge regularly and based on the feedback I’ve heard in the last few weeks along with my observations when I used to use it regularly, there are many seniors and people with mobility challenges who use that because crossing at 170th Street/87th Avenue is not something they feel safe doing.
Speaking at the appeal is the most important thing that you can do because the decision to uphold the condition will not be made by City Council or the City Administration.If you have other feedback on this matter you are welcome to reach out to me via email, phone, or social media.
Written by A.Knack