Chamber Policy Update  Bridges and Rivers


Published in our Chamber News insert in the Tri-City News April 24

These are busy times at the Chamber of Commerce on many different fronts.  At the Chamber, we pay close attention to public policy and the potential impact it has on our region.  As a result, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce has recently become involved with two public policy issues that directly affect us here in the Tri-Cities.

Recently, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce reached out to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure asking that the provincial government get involved in the conversation surrounding the future of the Bailey Bridge.  The bridge connects Coquitlam to New Westminster via United Boulevard or Braid Street and is an active goods-movement corridor.  It is also an aging one lane, alternating traffic, wooden surfaced bridge that, in its current state, poses a safety and environmental concern for the area.   The movement of goods and services in the region is very important to continued economic growth and this project must be looked at through a broader lens.

The Tri-Cities Chamber has also joined with other Chambers of Commerce in the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley to commission a study on the economic significance of the Fraser River.  The river, which touches both Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam, is an area of major economic significance both regionally and nationally, and faces pressure from a number of different areas.  Increasing development along the Fraser shoreline makes river access difficult for commercial purposes.  As a major transportation corridor, this lack of access to the river impacts all the communities the river touches.  We are also concerned about the lack of regular maintenance with the dredging program, which can have both commercial and environmental impacts on the river.

By neglecting the river, we put a substantial amount of economic benefit at risk.  Our hope is that this study will highlight the community benefits the Fraser River provides, and the risks involved if we continue on the current path of neglect.

The state of the Bailey Bridge and the Fraser River are two issues that impact the Tri-Cities on multiple levels.  It is our goal at the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce to speak up about these issues and advocate for change to help keep our business community strong and thriving.

Michael Hind
Executive Director
Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce