'Back to the River' project flows on

The 'Back to the River' project is back from the brink.

A political push to take the controversial riverfront makeover out of London's strategic plan fell short at the Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee meeting on Monday night.

Ward 2 Councillor Shawn Lewis questioned whether the project makes economic sense, pointing to what has been called the ‘boomerang bridge’ which extends out over the river.

“Is this really a priority for the constituents in your ward considering all the other priorities and demands we have on us, and is this really the best use of dollars for the city as a whole right now.”

Ward 11 Councillor Stephen Turner argued there’s much to be gained from the project, “If the lightning rod for you is one bridge, which is one component of a pretty extensive plan, I think we have some issues with that.”

The London Community Foundation has already raised $2 million for the bridge, which is now estimated to cost $7 to $8 million.

Ultimately, Lewis' motion failed by a vote of six to nine, meaning ‘Back to the River’ will remain a strategic priority.

But the project still faces several political hurdles including approval of the budget and the environmental assessment.