Pla­cen­tia opens new lift bridge

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER TC ME­DIA nmercer@cb­n­com­

Bren­dan McHugh re­mem­bers bolt­ing out of his school on Jersey­side and head­ing for the hill over­look­ing the gut be­tween his home and Pla­cen­tia proper.

There he’d watch the ferry shut­tle peo­ple out to­wards the mouth of the bay. It was 1956 and the orig­i­nal Sir Am­brose Shea Lift Bridge was still halfa-dozen years away from be­ing com­pleted.

Fast for­ward 55 years and McHugh is stand­ing on the other side of the gut wait­ing for the of­fi­cial open­ing of the new Sir Am­brose Shea Lift Bridge

“It’s go­ing to be OK, it’s go­ing to be nice,” he told The Com­pass mo­ments be­fore the cer­e­mony started. “It’ll be much bet­ter than the old one for sure.”

On Sept. 23, Pla­cen­tia of­fi­cially raised the cur­tain on the new bridge, while shut­ting down the old one at the same time.

A high- pro­file open­ing cer­e­mony drew hun­dreds of com­mu­nity mem­bers to the re­cently re­fur­bished Fort Fred- erick site on the Pla­cen­tia side and fea­tured plenty of gov­ern­ment and mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing Premier Dwight Ball and Avalon MP Ken McDon­ald.

“This will no doubt be a ‘re­mem­ber when’ day down the road,” said Mayor Wayne Power Jr.

The new bridge, a sky pierc­ing white mono­lith of mod­ern en­gi­neer­ing, is a long time com­ing for the re­gion. The project was first ten­dered sev­eral years ago and got to this point af­ter pass­ing through the hands of five Pre­miers, go­ing through two ten­der­ing pro­cesses, im­posed weight re­stric­tions, a me­chan­i­cal break­down and three con­struc­tion seasons.

The cur­rent con­struc­tion job ran nearly 20 per cent over its orig­i­nal fig­ure of $40.6 mil­lion, to top out at nearly $48 mil­lion.

The mayor made spe­cial men­tion of his pre­de­ces­sor Bill Ho­gan and for­mer area MHA Felix Collins and the work they put into en­sur­ing the project got started.

“This new struc­ture will serve as an im­por­tant piece to the traffic net­work in our com­mu­nity,” said Power. “The lift bridge is an im­por­tant and vi­tal link for eco­nomic and so­cial as­pects of our com­mu­nity.”

There were plenty of first in Pla­cen­tia Fri­day.

Af­ter an of­fi­cial rib­bon cut­ting and the first of­fi­cial rais­ing of the new bridge – it didn’t get stuck — a flotilla of boats made their first cross­ing, which was fol­lowed by a mo­tor­cade over the old bridge and across the new one.

McHugh and his 1956 Ford were set to par­tic­i­pate in the of­fi­cial mo­tor­cade that would cross the new bridge for the first time. Along­side him for the ride was 104-year-old Mary Drake, who is the town’s old­est res­i­dent.

“It’s re­ally said. beau­ti­ful,” she


There were plenty of dig­ni­taries in Pla­cen­tia for the of­fi­cial open­ing of the new lift bridge. Here, from left, Avalon MP Ken McDon­ald, Min­is­ter of Trans­porta­tion and Works Al Hawkins, Pla­cen­tia Mayor Wayne Power Jr., Pla­cen­ti­aSt. Mary’s MHA Sherry Gam­bin-Walsh and Premier Dwight Ball cut the rib­bon.


Shortly af­ter the mo­tor­cade made its way across the Sir Am­brose Shea Lift Bridge, there were plenty of walk­ers giv­ing the new piece of in­fra­struc­ture a try.


A flotilla of boats made the first pass un­der the raised lift bridge in Pla­cen­tia, sig­ni­fy­ing a new era in ma­rine travel in the com­mu­nity.


A trio of young chil­dren walk the stone wall in the shadow the new Sir Am­brose Shea Lift Bridge in Pla­cen­tia on Sept. 23.


This is one of the first cars to cross the new Sir Am­brose Shea Lift Bridge in Pla­cen­tia.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.