Cross Roads Bridge in need of re­pairs

Con­crete ero­sion, open rail­ing leads to con­cerns by some in Car­bon­ear

The Compass - - OPINION - BYMELISSA JENK­INS

Two 10-me­tre long rusty rail­ings, each con­tain­ing five sup­port posts, are the only bar­ri­ers pre­vent­ing pedes­tri­ans, bike rid­ers, skate­board­ers and pos­si­bly ve­hi­cles, from drop­ping two me­tres off the side of one of the old­est bridges in Car­bon­ear into the dark, rush­ing wa­ter be­low.

Al­though the wa­ter be­low Cross Roads Bridge is only a few feet deep, land­ing on sharp rocks or be­ing taken by a cur­rent is pos­si­bil­ity.

The bridge, which con­nects Cross Roads to Pond Side Road, has been a part of the town for around five decades. This struc­ture has ef­fec­tively al­lowed res­i­dents to cross Is­land Pond Brook, which runs into Ros­siter’s Pond.

But in re­cent weeks some con­cerns have been raised about the age, con­di­tion and safety of the bridge.

Phys­i­cal state

Al­though some say it doesn’t look par­tic­u­larly safe — chunks of con­crete have eroded from the edges and all metal and steel are or­ange coloured from rust — the town’s di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions and pub­lic works Brian O’Grady told The Com­pass the bridge is sound.

“The bridge is­sues are mainly aes­thetic,” he said.

Un­der­neath the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing con­crete are seven large steel Ibeams re­in­forced with re­bar — all cov­ered in rust. The beams are fas­tened to large con­crete bases on each side of the struc­ture. Be­yond the rail­ings, where the con­crete bases be­gin, is a drop-off of some two me­tres into the brook.

“The bridge is­sues are mainly aes­thetic.”

— Brian O’Grady

The rail­ing on the west side of the bridge, show­ing the two-me­tre wide and one-me­tre high gaps be­tween each pal­ing.

The east side of the bridge has a path on each side where chil­dren of­ten play dur­ing the sum­mer.

Pho­tos by Melissa Jenk­ins/The Com­pass

Car­bon­ear’s Deputy Mayor Frank Butt and di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions and pub­lic works Brian O’Grady stop by the Cross Roads Bridge Jan. 21 to take a look at the struc­ture.

A view from the west side of the Cross Roads Bridge.

Re­bar is vis­i­ble on both sides of the bridge where con­crete has eroded over the years.

This is the Cross Roads Bridge from the east side, where wa­ter runs rapidly. There are twome­tre drop-offs on each side of the rail­ing with no bar­ri­cade.

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