Re­pairs not enough

Har­bour Grace res­i­dent wor­rys about Ban­ner­man Lake bridge

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cbn­com­pass.ca

The wooden bridge that lies across the spill­way be­tween Lady Lake and Ban­ner­man Lake in Har­bour Grace has seen bet­ter days.

Some of its planks are cracked, while oth­ers have been torn from their sup­ports as a re­sult of res­i­dents us­ing the struc­ture when vis­it­ing cab­ins in the area or re­triev­ing lum­ber for the win­ter.

At least one Har­bour Grace res­i­dent would like to see it get re­placed.

Har­ri­son Verge, who fre­quently uses the bridge lo­cated a few kilo­me­tres from the town’s pump house, has re­paired cer­tain planks over the years, but be­lieves now is the time for it to be com­pletely re­placed.

He fears one of the many res­i­dents who use the bridge could be se­ri­ously hurt or even killed.

“It’s only a mat­ter of time be­fore some­one goes through it,” said Verge. “There is no other way to get in the woods. Ev­ery­one has their win­ter per­mits to get their wood and that’s the only way to get it.

“This is a dan­ger­ous tion.”

It’s not only for ac­cess to cab­ins and lum­ber that has Verge wor­ried about the state of the bridge. The en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact that could come as a re­sult

situa- of an accident is also a con­cern.

“If a bike goes down through it, where do you think the oil is go­ing?” he said. “You’re only a couple hun­dred feet from the wa­ter sup­ply. It’s ter­ri­ble.”

Ban­ner­man Lake serves as the main wa­ter sup­ply for the pop­u­la­tion of just over 3,000.

Har­bour Grace Mayor Terry Barnes said re­pair­ing the bridge is “very much on the agenda.”

The hope is to have the work com­pleted in the near fu­ture.

How­ever, it is not only the state of the bridge at the top of the list for the town. Barnes also looks at the con­di­tion of the road and what it could mean should a fire break out in the area.

“If there was ever, and God help us, a fire in that way, there is no way for Car­bon­ear to get in there with their equip­ment and nei­ther can we,” said the mayor. “It’s very cru­cial for us.”

At one time, it served as a way for res­i­dents of both Har­bour Grace and Car­bon­ear to get back and forth be­tween the two towns. There were fam­i­lies who lived in the area full-time.

The hope is that both com­mu­ni­ties might be able to con­trib­ute to re­pair ef­forts for the road.

“We might be able to do some­thing be­tween towns to bring the road up to par,” said the mayor.

PHOTO BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER/THE COM­PASS

This bridge that crosses the spill­way be­tween Lady Lake and Ban­ner­man Lake in Har­bour Grace has seen bet­ter days.

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