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The politics of bridge repairs

['Frankly Speaking with Frank Likely']
['Frankly Speaking with Frank Likely']

Frankly Speaking with Frank Likely

I'm wondering where I can sign the petition which demands the province repair the Lower Porter Road immediately.  Surely it must be close to the one the county is promoting that demands the provincial government repair the Nappan Marsh (Rainbow) bridge immediately.

Quite rightly, county officials have been protesting the suggested two-year timeline to replace the bridge which has been out of commission for more than a month now. Work should certainly not take that long for such a short span. 

Longer, more complex bridges have been built in considerably shorter periods of time where there is no alternative routing available.

That is the problem with the Rainbow bridge. There are alternate routes available and so a new bridge is not the priority it ought to be.

One of those alternatives is to have passenger vehicle traffic rerouted along the Lower Porter Road. This is a municipal road, and thus the county is responsible for its upkeep. 

As countless Facebook posts and pictures show, the additional traffic on the road is taking its toll on road and vehicles alike. It is only a matter of time before lives are impacted too.

If the road is to be the designated detour for traffic until the bridge can be replaced, the county has an obligation to ensure it is upgraded to be able to handle the traffic. I would hope the county council would be as quick to commit to this responsibility as they were to call upon the province to meet its obligations in repairing the bridge.        

County council is scheduled to meet soon. They will be remiss if they do not address this issue soon and make the commitment to upgrade this road or to establish another detour route which is more capable of handing the excess traffic.  Perhaps have traffic continue on the Nappan Road up to Brookdale and then turn toward Amherst.

If council doesn't make its decision tonight, I'll be looking for those petitions tomorrow.

Frank Likely is a retired Anglican minister and past president of the Springhill and Area Chamber of Commerce.

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