Plan exists to ease bridge traffic

Posted on September 29, 2008
Filed Under Commentary, Miramichi | Leave a Comment

            With the closing of the old Morrissy Bridge, people are wondering how to ease the extra traffic on the new bridge.

            When the new bridge was being built, property owners along Mitchell Street got letters from the provincial government. We were warned that our properties might be subject to expropriation for a new road from the new bridge to Uptown Miramichi. As you come off the new bridge to the north side you can easily spot where the road was to begin.

            It would have come along Mitchell Street and past the wharf buildings. At the time, I think, a factor was to provide a good access route from the highways to the wharf.

            Miramichiers’ idea of a traffic problem may differ significantly from those of city folk elsewhere. The loss of the Morrissy Bridge will not cause significant traffic jams. Still, if City of Miramichi can negotiate a consolation prize for the loss of the old bridge, a new street from the new bridge along Mitchell Street might be it.

            With regard to the idea of repairing and preserving the Morrissy as a walking bridge, I think it unlikely. It was on death watch from the time the new bridge was contracted. At the time most of us knew that the first time an inspection indicated a need for costly repairs, it would be closed.

            The Morrissy was originally built illegally over navigable water. It has always been a hazard to shipping. Only when the navigable waterway designation of the river up to the UPM property was revoked for the new bridge, did government weld the Morrissy shut. It still threatens any ship that might come up to the wharf.

            There are now several pleasure boats on the river that could get under the new bridge but cannot get under the Morrissy.

            The Morrissy has nearly as many people anxious to see it gone as it does to see it preserved.

            Given local economic conditions, there are probably more appealing places for governments to put our money than into a walking bridge across the Miramichi.

            I may be wrong there. Governments do some weird things in the name of economic stimulation.

                                                            DAC 

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