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Friday, March 9, 2018

Plans Presented For Chesley Bridge

Chesley | by John Divinski  

Engineer says a new single-span bridge would be better and a faster build.

Photo By John Divinski  

About 250 people heard Bruce County Engineer Brian Knox say the bridge that is closed because of structural damage, is what is called a 3-span bridge.

Knox says the solution they're leaning towards is a single-span bridge, which means no supports in the water, which will eliminate a lot of other issues which could delay construction.

The new bridge would cost around 3.2-million-dollars.

Chesley businessman Peter Knipfel admits his Chesley grocery store and other businesses have seen a drop in sales since the bridge closure.

Knipfel says he was pleased to hear a new bridge could be in place by the end of 2018.

He said there were rumours floating around that suggested construction could take up to two years which he believes could effectively "kill a downtown."

Chesley resident Sharon Burley lives on the north side of the closed bridge which has cut her off from the downtown and she finds it frustrating.

Burley says, "I don't like imposing on my friends and family for every little thing that I could walk to  in five minutes (when the bridge was open to at least pedestrians)."

To that end, Arran Elderslie Mayor Paul Eagleson says he has spoken to the Saugeen Mobility and Regional Transit (SMART) and they're prepared to offer some sort of shuttle service.

Fine details still need to be worked out.

Meanwhile, Bruce County hopes to have construction on a new bridge begin by mid-June and be finished by early December.

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