A few days ago, a modest pedestrian/cyclist bridge spanning the railroad tracks separating Liberty Village from King Street in downtown Toronto opened.
That’s not necessarily news — the King-Liberty Bridge is hardly an engineering wonder.
What is news is this: the bridge took 10 — count ‘em, 10 — years to build!
And this speaks volumes in terms of how slowly government operates (think of molasses going uphill in the wintertime).
It’s staggering that a bridge with such a small span could take so long to complete. After all, San Francisco’s magnificent Golden Gate Bridge only took four years to build. Just a few clicks away from the King-Liberty Bridge, the CN Tower only took three years and four months. Heck, back in 1931, Maple Leaf Gardens took less than six months to construct.
But a small pedestrian/cyclist bridge takes a decade? Gee, could it be that the difference in terms of timelines is this: the Golden Gate, the CN Tower and the Gardens were all built by the private sector; meanwhile, the speed demons at City Hall are responsible for the King-Liberty Bridge...
By the way, we did reach out to Toronto Mayor John Tory’s office about this.
You see, when Mayor Tory was candidate Tory, back in 2014 when he first ran for office, he remarked that “heads would roll” in the bureaucracy if projects were endlessly delayed and/or over budget. Have any heads rolled over this fiasco, I asked? Crickets...
(Isn’t it funny how those running for political office say one thing during the election campaign, but do quite another thing once they get elected?)
*P.S. When we visited King-Liberty Bridge, we were gobsmacked to discover that the bridge STILL isn't 100 per cent complete. Namely, the elevators for disabled persons are still not functioning. Let’s all collectively hope this finishing touch won’t take until 2031 to complete...