Cranbrook city hall. Trevor Crawley photo.

Cranbrook city hall. Trevor Crawley photo.

City approves funding for rail overpass feasibility study

City council approved $21,000 in funding towards a rail overpass feasibility assessment for a potential overpass crossing on Theatre Road.

The new study, which complements one that was previously conducted last year, will create a revised alignment to minimize the impact on land needed for a rail overpass at 1335 Theatre Road and linking up with Industrial Road 1 — the only feasible location for an overpass in Cranbrook.

The contract was awarded to Urban Systems, which is currently undertaking a transportation study on Victoria Avenue, and includes the intersection of Victoria Ave, Highway 3/95 and Theatre Rd.

Peak Cranbrook Properties, which purchased the former Tembec Industrial Lands on the west side of the railway, is in the process of subdividing the land and is offering to provide some of it towards a potential overpass, according to Mayor Lee Pratt, who was in favour of approving the funding for the feasibility study.

“I think we’d be remiss not to take advantage of it right now and see what we could come up with,” Pratt said.

Councillor Peabody also spoke in favour of approving funding for the study, while nodding to the city’s future.

“I don’t know if anyone on council can really see what’s going to happen to the city 30, 40, 50 years down the road so I think if we plan for this now, at least it gives us the opportunity down the road,” Peabody said.

A rail overpass has long been an issue raised by numerous councils, with the main concern centering on emergency vehicles being cut off by trains running through the city, particularly at the King St. crossing or the Jim Smith Lake Rd.

Ron Popoff, the lone vote against funding the feasibility study, noted that the rail overpass was not identified in the city’s short or long-term strategic plan or capital projects list.