An ongoing bike-lane trial on the Burrard Bridge may save the city an estimated $30 million, a city councillor said yesterday.

The bridge trial, which began in July, eliminated one lane of vehicle traffic in order to create two bicycle lanes.

It has demonstrated, said Coun. Geoff Meggs, that the aging bridge does not need to be widened in order to accommodate bike lanes.

“(The trial) wasn’t just successful from a cycling standpoint,” Meggs said. “It demonstrated that not only was the $30 million not affordable, it wasn’t necessary.”

In 2008, the city estimated it would cost $62 million to widen the sidewalks to accommodate bike lanes and to complete extensive repairs on the almost 80-year-old bridge. The proposed widening is vigorously opposed by heritage groups.

“It preserves the heritage character of the bridge. It improves the cycling connections and it saves a lot of money, but there still has to be a major remediation done.”

The bridge repairs, which Meggs said are included in the capital plan, are estimated at around $30 million.

Meggs said city staff are preparing a report to council on repairs and a final design for the bridge’s intersections.

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