Cornwall bridge piers: should they stay or go?

In this April 2016, file photo, from the Federal Bridge Corporation, construction takes place at the north channel bridge. City council will decide Monday to tell the FBC whether it wants to see the three in-water piers (in the red circle) stay or be cut down to just above the water line. (Federal Bridge Corporation via Newswatch Group, File)

CORNWALL – City councillors will put their views to a vote Monday night on whether three waterfront bridge piers in the St. Lawrence River should stay or go.

In a report to council, Infrastructure and Municipal Works GM John St. Marseille wants council to make a recommendation on whether to keep the three in-river piers or have the Federal Bridge Corporation proceed with removal.

The decision, on its face, won’t cost the city any money.

“However, if the piers remain and council desires to have aesthetic features (flags, painting, lighting, etc.) as part of the City’s Primary Gateway, this could have budget implications,” St. Marseille wrote.

An original environment assessment report recommended cutting down the piers to 2 meters (6.5 feet) above the waterline. But the city’s streetscape study identified the area as an important area of cultural history.

Plus, the city has received inquires about preserving the pillars because, at this point, they are “relatively non-obtrusive.”

The piers are left over from the removal of the high-level bridge – part of a $75 million project.

The project concluded earlier this month with the opening of Brookdale Avenue following its reconstruction from Water Street to the Rotary Traffic Circle.

Monday’s council meeting at 360 Pitt Street starts at 7 p.m.

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