Fifth Street Bridge Rehabilitation

Start: November 2018

End: Ongoing

Last Updated: November 12, 2019

Project Description:

Built in 1960, the Fifth Street Bridge acts as a gateway to downtown Courtenay and requires rehabilitation to maintain the existing level of service for multiple modes of transportation. Over the years, multiple engineering assessments of the bridge have identified the need for structural repairs and re‐coating to prevent continued deterioration. This rehabilitation is important to extend the functional service life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions: Fifth Street Bridge Project [PDF - 556 KB]
Updated August 29, 2019

Fifth Street Bridge Project E-Newsletter

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June 26, 2019:

Council Approves Cycling and Pedestrian Improvements for Fifth Street Bridge Rehabilitation Project
At the Monday June 24, 2019 Courtenay City Council Meeting, Council directed staff to proceed with rehabilitation of the Fifth Street Bridge, including the addition of widened, cantilevered pedestrian and cycling paths on each side of the bridge. The widened pathways would improve accessibility, safety and experience for people who bike, walk, push strollers, and use mobility aids. Learn more



At the June 24, 2019 Committee of the Whole meeting, Courtenay City Council directed staff to proceed with the associated next steps to rehabilitate the Fifth Street Bridge, including the upgrade of adding cantilevered multi-use pathways plus development of detailed traffic management and public engagement plans, and report back to Council no later than September 16, 2019; and that staff simultaneously prepare a supporting draft Borrowing Bylaw for Council consideration.

In a separate motion, Council directed staff to bring forward a report providing options for exploring a Sixth Street multi-use pedestrian-bike bridge at a future Council meeting.


On March 24, 2017, the City agreed to funding terms under the New Building Canada Fund – Small Communities to rehabilitate the bridge in order to mitigate natural corrosion processes and to extend the useful life of the 5th Street Bridge.

Under the terms of the agreement, the governments of Canada and British Columbia are providing a combined $1,964,932 in funding for the project.


Based on the terms of the successful grant funding application, the physical works to be completed are:

  • Removal and replacement of the lead‐based bridge coating;
  • Steel repairs to the end of the deck beams underneath the bridge (20 each);
  •  Recoating of all the steel (4,200 m2);
  • Removal of the hand rails and hot dip galvanizing the railings and rub rails;
  •  Removal of existing overlay;
  •  Deck concrete removal to a partial depth;
  •  Placement of a new concrete overlay, and;
  • Line painting.

Updated design investigation was undertaken by a consultant team in 2018, which confirmed the above scope of work is still valid and the required improvements have not significantly changed. Some additional components were added to the core project scope including cathodic protection and cantilevered pathways. Cathodic protection was added as it provides protection to the deck from future corrosion for the life of the bridge.


Current construction cost estimates for the proposed works are significantly higher than the project costs requested in the grant funding that has been secured for the project. The new cost estimates are based on discussions with the City’s design team and industry contractors who track recently completed projects in Western Canada to inform their estimates. These estimates also compare bridge work undertaken in Campbell River and Duncan in 2018. The original cost estimate was $2.9M with a cost‐sharing of $1.96M (Province/Federal) and $0.98M (Courtenay). The new estimate of $6.3M was received in November 2018 and reconfirmed in March 2019. The preliminary estimate for cantilevered pathways is $2M including tie-ins to existing pathways. Further study will be required to refine estimates and maximize cross-river connectivity.

The construction start date for the project has not yet been finalized. The deadline to complete the project, under the terms of the grant is March 2022.  Updates will be posted to this page as they become available.


Council Reports

September 16, 2019 Staff Report: 5th Street Bridge Rehabilitation Project Update [PDF - 848 KB]

June 24, 2019 Staff Report: 5th Street Bridge Rehabilitation Project [PDF - 2 MB]

June 24, 2019 Council Presentation: 5th Street Bridge Rehabilitation [PDF - 989 KB]

May 14, 2019 Briefing Note: 5th Street Bridge Rehabilitation Project [PDF - 139 KB]

May 14, 2019 Council Presentation: 2019-05-17 Bridge BN Council Presentation [PDF - 2 MB]

November 26, 2018 Council Presentation: 2018-11-26 COW 5th St Bridge [PDF - 2 MB]

For more information on the Fifth Street Bridge project, email

Project Status:

Preliminary Design