More than three decades later — and after a bridge load of studies and reports — the one-lane structure is front and centre again on Monday’s council agenda.
More than a year ago — Nov. 17, 2014 to be exact — council authorized staff to engage Stantec Consulting to complete an environmental assessment to help determine the preferred solution for a crossing of Kettle Creek.
A report from city engineer Justin Lawrence to council paints a picture of the temporary bridge that “has exceeded its design life and is in need of significant rehabilitation.”
Something bridge users could have told the city countless crossings ago.
A public information session was held this past June and three alternatives were presented:
* remove the bridge and not provide a crossing, at a cost of about $100,000
* provide a crossing for all modes of traffic, at a cost of about $1.8 million for rehabilitation or $2.7 million for a new structure
* provide a crossing only for pedestrians and cyclists, at a cost of $400,000 to rehabilitate and $1.7 million to build new.
The more than 260 survey respondents at the June meeting opted (80%) for Option 2. This is in contrast to a preliminary recommendation to go with Option 3.
Lawrence observes Option 2 “is a viable alternative with cost ($2.7 million to build new) being the major deciding factor.
The next step entails another public meeting this winter where design concepts will be presented for comment.
Ninety-seven per cent of survey respondents agreed some form of crossing at Dalewood is important.
For the remainder of the community, who likely never use the crossing, will they buy into spending close to $3 million to construct a new — and hopefully more permanent — bridge?
If the debate bogs down — as in the case of the prolonged back-and-forth over the need for a new police station — the temporary Bailey fix could indeed set some sort of world record.
YOUR ROOM IS WAITING
The gang at Geerlinks sure have a delightful view out their front windows.
If you can’t visualize, their gaze falls upon the rubble that was the Ramada Inn.
In a letter to council, Craig Geerlinks and Adam MacLeod note “The building has been abandoned for more than a few years. We are concerned this blight on the neighbourhood, and the city in general, will continue with no end in sight.”
The pair hit one out of the park with this prod to city council.
Their many customers leave the store “having purchased home improvement materials, those customers look across the street and cannot help but be disheartened that their efforts at improving their properties are offset by derelict and abandoned buildings such as this one.”
And the disaster on Kains St., adjacent to Pauline Wimbush. And Alma Presbyterian Church, now in the process of demolition. And the Sutherland Press Building. And the sad and neglected remains of Alma College.
Don’t imagine the neighbours enjoy those vistas on a daily basis.
“Out of town visitors attending activities at the Timken Arena and railway museum drive past the remnants of this now abandoned building and must wonder about our community spirit,” remind the Geerlinks crew.
Who close out their missive urging city council to “lead in using the tools at their disposal to ensure the property does not remain any longer in this derelict condition.”
It’s deja vu all over again.
PROUD TO WEAR IT
If you remember at this time in 2012, I unleashed my Christmas rant regarding greetings from politicians and organizations – some of whom I have never heard of – that wish me “Happy Holidays,” “Best wishes for this festive season,” “All the best at this special time of the year,” and the totally bland “Seasons Greetings.” Well my nattering struck a chord in the right place as a pair of tell-it-like-it-is “It’s OK to say Merry Christmas to me” buttons landed on my desk.
It was Mike Butler and the Knights of Columbus who graciously provided me with visual support to remind people I recognize the true meaning of this time of year.
Beginning mid-month, I proudly sport the buttons to put those around me at ease – I am not offended at the mention of Christmas, which is the occasion I am celebrating with so many others,
And, I am pleasantly surprised at the number of people who have taken the time to wish me a Merry Christmas.
And this year, that includes the Catholic school board and, in particular, Mark Adkinson who sent me two cards painted by Carmen Santiago at St. Anne’s and Karch Luft VanDyke at Msgr. Morrison which, in spectacular colourful fashion, convey the message, Have a Blessed Christmas.
And very special thanks to Mike Cunningham at Lift Depot Ltd. in London, who had initially forwarded me one of those generic e-greetings but promptly sent me a personal note in order to wish me the very best this Christmas.
That has special meaning, Mike.
A CHRISTMAS WISH TO YOU
And, on that note, as this is the last go-round before Friday’s celebration of Christmas, we put forth the following gift suggestions for you to distribute in appropriate fashion.
To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.
And, to all faithful City Scope readers, especially those with birthdays at this bustling time of year, when your special day too often is lost in the whirligig that has become the lead-up to the day itself – may this Christmas bring you peace, health and happiness.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“What annoys me a little bit is when they call this an elective surgery. It’s necessary for me to function as I was before.”
Speaking from his home in St. Thomas, 82-year-old Stan Boughton is on the wait list for a hip replacement at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital and recently received a letter from Elgin Orthopaedics informing him the hospital cannot accommodate any more knee or hip transplant surgeries before April of next year.
City Scope appears Saturday in the Times-Journal. Questions and comments may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.