A pedestrian bridge expected to link Maskwôtêh Park to the grounds of the new hospital may move ahead as planned. It was decided on the third day of budget talks that the city would continue to fund the project, pending the budget’s final approval.

It’s currently pencilled in the 2020-2022 Capital Budget for $220,000. City councillor Wade Pilat originally asked for the project to be cancelled saying the bridge was more of a want than a need.

“This is those kinds of things that although I think are nice to have for the community, I’d rather see us putting this kind of money back into areas to the help the communities that already exist… I just don’t think this is the best use of the community’s money.”

The idea for the pedestrian bridge was first brought up back in July. Back then, plans were still in the works but Project Engineer Daniel Dawson said previously that he hoped the bridge would be under construction by this winter. Friday, Deputy Director of Economic Development Brian Glavin said the bridge will be built and open when the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital does.

Mayor Bill Given is in favour of keeping the project moving. He says it would be an essential item for families living in the area as well as for hospital staff.

“It’s not just for the people to get to the park, it’s actually for people to get to work. I think that would be well utilized ultimately when it’s needed.”

While money for the project will stay in the budget, it will still need to be approved at a future council meeting.