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Kamloops woman wants to see old bridge pillars turned into art project

The pieces of concrete have sparked interest over the years
Bridge building
File photo. (via Eric Thompson)

It's a sight anyone who's lived in Kamloops more than a month has probably seen: four pillars sticking out of the Thompson River west of the Overlanders Bridge.

Rosalind Downey sees them almost daily, commuting from one side of the river to the other. She's hoping to see something done with what are essentially four man-made islands, ideally an artistic venture.

"There are murals around the city," she says. "I thought that would be an awesome way to add some beauty."

As there are four pillars, she thinks there could be a few different themes.

"I was thinking something to do with Kamloops, maybe something with an Indigenous background," she says. "It could have a sports theme."

"I just thought it would also be an attraction because it's kind of unique."

Downey brought that idea up to Coun. Donovan Cavers, who's passed the idea on to city staff. She says she spoke to him about it just to get the idea out in the community. 

"I thought I'd put the idea out there," she says. "I thought the city could help out."

"I would be interested in being involved, but I don't know where to start with that."

City culture manager Barbara Berger says the idea of an art project on the pillars of old Overlanders Bridge has been suggested before, though never followed through on all the way.

"The pillars have had different interest over the years," she tells KamloopsMatters. "I was involved years ago in an exploration a group was doing around it."

However, Berger says there are a few issues around the project, though she doesn't figure any of them are insurmountable. The biggest issue might be jurisdiction, as the pillars aren't city property (the river isn't part of the city). She says the Ministry of Transportation and Department of Fisheries would likely have to be consulted, and potentially others, like the Ministry of Environment and WorkSafeBC.

There's also the issue of the rising and falling flowing water. Berger points out that might be an issue for paints.

"At this time of year, we see a big, blank canvas," she says. "For a good portion of the year, there's a good portion that's underwater."

Relief work would also be a possibility, she adds, but that would be difficult and potentially prohibitively expensive to install.


Brendan Kergin

About the Author: Brendan Kergin

Brendan Kergin is a digital reporter based in Kamloops.
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