Bad bridge worries local councillor

Andrew Wagstaff
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Fletcher calling for repairs to Apple River structure

County councillor Don Fletcher is concerned about the rough condition of this bridge in Apple River, explaining that motorists have been moving to the oncoming lane of traffic to avoid the dip at one entrance to the bridge, while others have to endure a vicious bump at the other entrance. He would like to see the bridge added to the provincial government's five-year plan for replacements.

APPLE RIVER - The ‘x's painted on the road and the highway "bump" sign might give motorists some idea of what they are in for before they cross the Apple River bridge, but that's not enough for the local county councillor.

Don Fletcher, who represents District 10 on Cumberland County council, said he has been observing the deteriorating condition of the bridge over the years, and has been hearing from many residents on the issue. He believes it's time for repairs.

"When you're going down on it from one side, there is a big dip, and local people travel to the left side," explained Fletcher. "If you're towing a trailer or something, it's in pretty bad shape. On the other side when you're coming, there's a bit of a bump to get up on it and then it sort of sags in the middle."

The scuffs on the road to that side of the bridge show where some vehicles have dragged while driving up onto the bridge.

Fletcher has taken his concerns to the provincial department of transportation and infrastructure renewal, and said he was assured by area manager Buffy White that the bridges are checked by engineers every year, and the Apple River bridge has been deemed safe.

He said he does not doubt that the bridge structure is sound for the time being, and even pointed out the metal support beams that were placed underneath it in recent years. But he and other residents are still concerned.

"It's like all other bridges, I guess," said Fletcher, who recently had a conversation with fellow councillor Mike McLellan about other local bridges such as the one in Sand River and another in New Salem. "It doesn't look good from a cosmetic point of view, if tourists are driving through here, and we need tourists all along this shore."

White is checking the most recent engineer's report on the bridge, according to Fletcher, who said he would like to see it at least added to the province's five-year plan for replacement.

"I don't know how long it's been there, but it's been a long time," he said. "Every year it gets a little worse."

Twitter: @ADNandrew

Organizations: Cumberland County council

Geographic location: Apple River, Sand River, New Salem

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