I note with interest our new amalgamated council has identified the future need for a new bridge into Wingham over Cedar Party Creek. This is great news as we can all see the current bridge is too narrow for all those BDoubles and looks to be on its last legs, or pylons.
I understand the staff of our new council have identified a number of important members of our community and have had two meetings with them regarding this project. $350,000 has been set aside for planning, and we can only assume they have expectations that funding will be forthcoming.
The new bridge sounds very exciting, over-passing the railway, no more stopping for trains, but there are plans for two sets of traffic lights on the town side so we will all probably have to stop anyway. The height proposed is to be above the one in a hundred year flood level, a very grand bridge.
I hear a number of planning options have been presented to the important people of our town, some of which include the demolition of our Olympic pool, which council staff say they will replace with a four lane 25 metre pool to be located elsewhere, like the one at Nabiac which has no life saving services and therefore is less expensive for the council to maintain.
Some members of our community are questioning the need for such a grand and expensive bridge when perhaps a less expensive bridge, higher than the existing bridge, with a height covering a one in thirty or fifty year flood level being sufficient in this age of accurate forecasting and communication. Such a bridge could be more in keeping with the heritage of our town and maybe alternatives could be found so the traffic lights would not be necessary.
Perhaps some of the money saved could rebuild us an olympic sized pool if it is deemed necessary to demolish the existing pool, or to maintain some of the many other roads in the area, but I would guess this is not how the funding formula works.
In another great initiative our new council staff say they will be consulting with the less important members of our community in the month of April. Not that many of us would be expected to be present or interested when we all have Easter holidays and school holidays for much of the month. Our new council staff does not miss a trick! They have yet to nominate dates for this consultation, but I am sure those of us interested in the project can look forward to a slick presentation. It is a shame all the differing proposals have yet to be disclosed to ALL the townspeople so we have time to digest our options and the councils preferred option.
My money is on the gold plated bridge and a 4 lane 25 metre pool.