Monday night's City Council meeting held many discussions but the first topic heard was on the demolition of the Coteau Street bridge and how the residents around that bridge are very opposed of its possible tear down.
The bridge is connected to land owned by the Church of God and leads right into Wakamow Valley.
The residents and landowners next to the bridge were not informed by any means of the decision to tear the bridge down.
Coteau Street resident Doug Reichel went in front of the City Council and gave his case on why the bridge should be preserved instead of destroyed.
Reichel brought to the council's attention a vote that was held at a City Council meeting in 2009 in favor of blocking the bridge off to vehicle traffic and turning it into a pedestrian-only bridge and with this vote was also the proclamation that the bridge would be reassessed in 40 years.
He confronted the council on ignoring and overlooking this report and acknowledging a report made in 2017 to have the bridge destroyed, disregarding the 40-year reassessment plan.
"Why was the bridge safe for approximately 40 years for pedestrian-only traffic but now it is not? This council action silently overriding a previous course of action that at least attempted land and property ownership consultation underlines why the city of Moose Jaw needs to revisit a ward system of elected councilors. We need localized, geographic representation by councilors who live in and speak for each section of the city," says Reichel.
He continued to give the councilors several reasons as to why the bridge should stay in the community.
That being, it's a historical bridge that has been in Moose Jaw for decades and it should be preserved.
The bridge is also currently used by hundreds of people walking and biking each month.
Local schools and organizations use it as well.
The students of Cornerstone Christian School, clients in the Wakamow detox facility, and people who live and work in the Church Of God complex all use the bridge as a gateway to Wakamow valley.
Reichel made another point that there are multiple pedestrian-only bridges in Wakamow Valley and the Coteau Street bridge should have the same acknowledgment and maintenance.
Also, that it creates a safe way for Coteau Street residents to come and go from Wakamow.
Reichel was firm in his point that spending money on preserving this bridge will be money well spent.
After the arguments were made, the council debated on the project but the majority feel to the bridge's demolition.
The Engineering report said that it's as simple as converting the bridge from one use to another.
The structure of the bridge shows that it's come to the end of its service life and there's now a concern about its ability to hold its own weight.
The bridge also no longer meets rail crossing standards and requirements.
It was also stated that the cost for repairing the bridge for pedestrian use would cost $220,000 while the cost for demolition is $150,000 and CN Railway was willing to support the demolition cost 50/50.
Councilor member and Mayor Candidate Crystal Froese said that the council should give this decision more thought now that there's public interest.
"The 7th Avenue bridge was supposed to be demolished. it was supposed to cost us millions of dollars to replace and we found other methods and cheaper ways to extend its life by providing additional supports and actually opening it up to cars. So, I don't necessarily think we've explored this as far as we could," says Froese.
However, Froese did not put up a motion for her point and did not see much support from council.
Acting Mayor Dawn Luhning then put a motion forward to have the bridge demolished according to the budget and the plan which won the majority vote.