Tall boats only request passage under then Selkirk Trestle a couple of times each year, but the bridge must accommodate these requests under federal regulation.
The lift span is currently undergoing a condition assessment by Stantec.
“You can look at the structure and see where there is rust on it, so we want to make sure it continues to be safe,” said Jeff Ward, manager of planning, resource management and development for the Capital Regional District.
The provincial government owns the bridge, but the CRD holds licence for its use as a regional trail system.
It was designed to be partially in the lifted position so most boats can go through there,” said Ward, referring to the bump in the middle of the bridge.
On average, the CRD gets one to three requests to lift the span every year, typically from sail boats.
When the call comes in, two CRD staff are called in to raise the plank by hand.
“On each side there is a crank, and there is a manual gear shift,” he said. A few more staff must also be present for safety reasons.
“We have staff that are in a boat, observing,” he said.
Results of the bridge assessment are due later this month.
Should it conclude that repairs are necessary, who should fund the work is an open question.
“The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the CRD, the City of Victoria and District of Saanich are all partners of the operations and maintenance agreement of the Galloping Goose Regional Trail,” said Jeff Knight, spokesperson for the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, in an email to the News. “The ministry will await the results of the engineering inspection. If bridge work is required, the ministry would work with all the partners to determine funding.”