The city has issued a request for proposal to study the location and cost of a new bridge on the Thompson River, with the location expected to be near Kamloops Airport.
The RFP was posted to BC Bids on June 2 and expires on June 25.
The city’s transportation engineer, Purvez Irani, said the city is looking to plan ahead and does not intend to build the new bridge for at least 30 or 40 years.
Irani said the city’s Transportation Master Plan states a new bridge will be needed when population reaches 120,000-plus.
Irani said existing bridges currently have adequate capacity. The city is seeking a multidisciplinary study to determine where a new bridge would be feasible based on topography and environmental and geotechnical factors.
A third crossing was previously planned for Singh Street.
A crossing near the airport would eliminate need for truck traffic to travel through town, Irani said.
On the south side of the river, the bridge could connect to Mission Flats, though it remains unclear at this stage, with those details to be considered in the study.
“It’s just too early to know,” Purvez said.
Coun. Bill Sarai said a third crossing would benefit Brocklehurst, North Kamloops and downtown by eliminating truck traffic from the areas.
Sarai said tankers that refuel gas stations from here to Prince George fuel up at a commercial fuelling station at Kamloops Airport and travel both empty and full by many schools and residential homes in Brocklehurst and North Kamloops.
“Knock on wood, we’ve never had an incident, but that doesn’t mean we have to wait for one to happen,” Sarai said.
In addition, wood chip trucks travel through downtown to the Domtar pulp mill on Mission Flats road, causing wear and tear on city streets.
RELATED: In 2018, the Singh Street Bridge proposal was dropped from the city's Transportation Master Plan
Sarai said Domtar has identified desire to utilize some of its space to partner with the city, with a third crossing potentially spanning to Aviation Way.
Irani said it is important to plan ahead because a new crossing would require funding and potentially land acquisition.
In addition to a location, the study will provide high-level cost. The study is expected to take one year to complete.