It could cost up to $40 million to get the Prince of Wales Bridge ready to carry O-Train riders across the Ottawa River, but that’s still not even a fraction of what a new bridge would cost, transit advocates said.

Based on available information, the 989-metre crossing would require between $20 million and $40 million worth of refurbishment before it was placed into active service, Wayne Newell, the city’s director of infrastructure services, wrote in a memo to councillors. However, without a more detailed condition assessment, it is difficult to estimate the cost or extent of renewal.

In the memo, Newell wrote that it would take eight months and $1.5 million to complete a detailed inspection of the structure.

Friends of the O-Train have been lobbying the city for years to extend the O-Train into Gatineau. Group founder David Gladstone said that $40 million was very high for a bridge that is already built, but is much less than the Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge proposed in Barrhaven.