My View: Bridge Summit Needed, The Sooner The Better

Don't be misled by the eye appeal of this scene. The old railway bridge in Welland is an eyesore and potential safety hazard. Something needs to be done with it in 2015. (Photo by Joe Barkovich)

Don’t be misled by the eye appeal of this scene. The old railway bridge in Welland is an eyesore and potential safety hazard. Something needs to be done with it in 2015. (Photo by Joe Barkovich)

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

Will Welland city council cross this bridge issue if it comes to it in 2015?

I hope so.

I also hope the word ‘if’ can be replaced with the word ‘when’.

This bridge is an eye sore, an embarrassment to Welland and a potential safety threat. I’ve said it before and I’ll go on saying it until someone shows interest in listening.

I’m looking for leadership from someone on this council in turning this into a matter of public interest and concern in 2015.

If it takes a public meeting – not a behind closed doors meeting – involving the city; the bridge owner, CP Rail; the MPP, the MP, the Region and any other interested parties, then let’s have one. I’ll go so far as to challenge Welland’s mayor and 12 councillors to hold an on-site viewing of this bridge just so they get to see it with their own eyes, if they have not recently done so. While there, they can also check out the pilings in the waterway to see what potential danger they pose. And then I’d like them to open up to the media about what they think.

Wellanders deserve to know what, if anything, is planned for this old railway bridge in 2015. And if anything isn’t planned, we deserve to know why not.

This stretch of recreational waterway and environs is slowly but surely turning into a green space that is the envy of many who visit our community. But this bridge is a blight on what is unfolding in our midst.

Something needs to be done about it. That’s My View.

(A former reporter and city editor, Joe Barkovich lives in his hometown of Welland, Ontario, Canada’s Rose City. My View is a recurring feature.)

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