Skabar calls on Conservatives to stop ignoring sinking bridge

Staff ~ The Amherst News
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AMHERST - Cumberland North NDP candidate Brian Skabar wants the Conservative government to stop ignoring the sinking Northport Bridge.
"This is a vital transportation link for the people of Northport," said Skabar.
"The last question residents should be asking themselves about this bridge is how safe is it."
Skabar said the bridge is another symptom of the neglect that occurs when the Conservative government takes rural votes, in this case Cumberland County votes, for granted.
Concerns about the bridge were raised last fall when Northport fisher Stewart Blair said the bridge needs to be replaced before it sinks into the Shinimicas River.
He said traffic is increasing on the bridge, but there has been little or no maintenance.
In response, the province has been reducing the allowable weight on the structure, lowering it to 20 tonnes last year and placing concrete dividers on both sides of the bridge to act as guard rails.
The bridge is slated for replacement, but no date has been set and it's unknown where it sits on the priority list.
That's not good enough to Skabar, who is questioning how far it will have to sink before something's done. He's afraid it will sink when a vehicle or school bus is using it.
"The condition of this bridge is deplorable and it's being allowed to continued to sink closer to the Shinimicas River," he said.
"How far does it have to sink, or how bad does the condition have to get before the Conservatives start paying attention? This is an issue of concern for many residents and to ignore this vital piece of infrastructure is simply not acceptable."

Organizations: Conservatives

Geographic location: Northport, Shinimicas River, Cumberland County

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  • Lisa
    January 18, 2010 - 10:48

    The bridge in Northport also needs to be replaced not repaired replaced!!. At this point they have lowered the tonnage of the vehicles that are allowed to travel over the bridge to 20 tonnes to prevent the bridge from sinking any farther and as per usual the bridge is under Spring weight restrictions. In a letter that I received from Murray Scotts office it was stated that the railings need to be fixed and they were going to set up jersey barriers, which are in place now because the bridge is not safe for pedestrians. The letter also stated that work would be done in 2009 or 2010 depending on funding. If you go to the Department of Transportation website they have a numerical scale from 0-9 that they grade bridges on. The letter reflected that the bridge was around a 3 on the scale. SERIOUS CONDITION - loss of section, deterioration, spalling or scour have seriously affected primary structural components. Local failures are possible. Fatigue cracks in steel or shear cracks in concrete may be present. I personally feel that the bridge is a low scale 3 and looking more like a 2. CRITICAL CONDITION - advanced deterioration of primary structural elements. Fatigue cracks in steel or shear cracks in concrete may be present or scour may have removed substructure support. Unless closely monitored it may be necessary to close the bridge until corrective action is taken. This bridge is imperative for two industries: the fishing industry and the tourism industry. The fishermen have to bring their boats to the opposite side of the bridge in order to launch them and Northport is on the route to Amherst Shore and Pugwash. This is the year to take care of this get the funding!