Local bridge is falling down…

Ever since the bridge was closed down two years ago, local councillors have exchanged conflicting points of view, leaving everyone who’s been listening wishing they weren’t.

Ward 38 councillor, Glen De Baeremaeker, says it’s good for the environment to take the bridge down. But Councillor Raymond Cho of Ward 42 says it’s bad for the environment.

See what I mean?

The bridge was closed for safety purposes by the city’s transportation staff, and now the 50-something bridge may be taken down completely if a vote passes through the works committee and ultimately city council in November.

“It’s a bridge to nowhere. No purpose. No utility,” said De Baeremaeker, who is adamant about tearing down the bridge.

Cho told the Scarborough Mirror demolishing the bridge would “disrupt fish spawning” in the Rouge River that runs underneath. De Baeremaeker said if the decision is made to tear it down, they would be disrupting an already disrupted area.

“They cut down the trees, ripped out the stumps, dumped in some [cement] and laid down asphalt. So the area is already disturbed,” he said.

Either way you look at it, it’s going to cost us taxpayers. De Baeremaeker, who is also chairman of the works committee, says knocking the bridge down costs about $1 million, repairing the bridge costs about $1.5 million, and building a whole new one costs about $4.5 million.

In 2005, the city did an environmental assessment indicating only an average of six cars crossed the bridge during morning rush hour. So why spend so much money to keep a bridge that’s hardly ever used?

De Baeremaeker is also an environmentalist and he knows why taking it down is the better option. However, he is not denying there won’t be any environmental backlash.

“We human beings always want another highway or another road or another bridge to help us get to work faster,” he said. “There’s usually a negative impact on the environment when you build these infrastructures, but that’s the way life is.

“Here we have an opportunity to go in and help heal Mother Nature.”

It’s unpopular, it’s old, and it’s expensive. So just knock it down.

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Posted: Nov 5 2007 12:00 pm
Filed under: Opinion