Bridgegate: Old Railway Bridge Needs Attention

This bridge has a past but what is its future? (All photos by Joe Barkovich)

This bridge has a past but what is its future? (All photos by Joe Barkovich)

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

Has this bridge been forgotten by Welland and the people who run the city?

A slew of words come to mind when describing it, none of them positive:

This bridge is an eyesore;

This bridge is a potential threat to public safety;

This bridge is dilapidated;

This bridge is a rusted relic.

The old train bridge is situated between Sixth and Seventh streets, off Canal Bank road.

It sticks out like a sore thumb.  No. It sticks out like a decrepit,  unsightly bridge. This is a beautifully remediated area, a welcoming people place. A trail runs through it. The grass is kept neat and tidy and trees dot the landscape giving it a park-like setting.

Then there is the bridge, the former railway swing bridge, the bridge with a past but with no apparent future.

Someone should make a model of this bridge and stick it in the Children’s Safety Village where it could be used to teach children about the dangers lurking in neglected, ignored  infrastructure.

I’ve asked this question before and will again: What’s to be done with this bridge?

The City of Welland and CP Rail, the bridge owner, need to provide answers. This is a disgrace to the city and people of Welland.

 

This view, through the east-side gate at the old railway bridge In Welland, provides a clear look across to the west side, where the closed gate is easily seen. (All photos by Joe Barkovich)

This view, through the closed, east-side gate at the old railway bridge In Welland, provides a clear look across to the west side, where the closed gate is easily seen. (Photo taken Friday, August 22)

 

Near the middle of the bridge, lying on the ground, can be seen a bicycle.

Near the middle of the bridge, lying partly on the track, can be seen a bicycle. (Photo taken Friday, August 22)

Photo shows hole cut into fence on east side, at the south corner of the bridge through which a pedestrian, with or without bike can easily fit,  possibly explaining the presence of the bike on the bridge. Although the east and west-side gates are kept closed to thwart trespassers, obviously they don't do the job.

Photo shows hole cut into fence on east side, at the south corner of the bridge through which a pedestrian, with or without bike can easily fit, possibly explaining the presence of the bike on the bridge. Although the east and west-side gates are kept closed to thwart trespassers, obviously they don’t do the job. (Photo taken Friday, August 22; I have not been back to the bridge to see if the damage has been repaired.)

These crumbling pilings are located only a few feet from the east-side water's edge. Is no one from the city aware of this potential threat to public safety? Does Welland city council ever tour its recreational waterway assets? Perhaps an outdoor excursion is warranted, sooner rather than later.

These crumbling pilings are located only a few feet from the east-side water’s edge. Is no one from the city aware of this potential threat to public safety? Does Welland city council ever tour its recreational waterway assets? Perhaps an outdoor excursion is warranted, sooner rather than later.

The land on the east-side bank now has a park-like setting and is well used by walkers, cyclists, family visitors.

The land on the east-side bank near the eyesore bridge  has a beautiful, park-like setting and is well used by walkers, cyclists, family visitors.

This photo shows the railway bridge over the Welland River in Niagara Falls, off Montrose Road and under the QEW overpass. Notice the condition of this bridge and deck are comparatively better than its counterpart in Welland.

This photo shows the railway bridge over the Welland River in Niagara Falls, off Montrose Road and under the QEW overpass. Notice the condition of this bridge  deck is comparatively better than its counterpart in Welland.

(A former reporter and city editor, Joe Barkovich lives in Welland, Ontario, Canada’s Rose City.)

© Joe Barkovich 2014

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One thought on “Bridgegate: Old Railway Bridge Needs Attention

  1. Ann Simunic

    Joe , with all the artists and graffiti artists we have in Welland ,I think that each should take interest and paint part of the bridge–make it a colourful site. All your morning offereings are great

    Reply

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