Ch­es­ley bridge work con­tin­ues


Bruce County of­fi­cials say work on the Ch­es­ley Main Street Bridge con­tin­ues, with a goal of hainvg in open to traf­fic by the end of the month.

Weather re­lated delays pushed back the open­ing with no def­i­nite date in sight.

“There were a lot of days when the con­trac­tor couldn’t work,” said county engi­neer Miguel Pel­letier. “They are work­ing as hard as they can to at least have it open . . . by the end of De­cem­ber.”

The bridge was closed to the pub­lic in Fe­bru­ary af­ter high flows in the North Saugeen River dam­aged a pier.

Pel­letier said an of­fi­cial rib­bon cut­ting cer­e­mony will likely take place in the spring when the work is com­pleted and the bridge is re­named.

Ar­ran-Elder­slie coun­cil wants to name the bridge in hon­our of one of the com­mu­nity’s long­est-serv­ing fam­i­lies.

Mayor Steve Ham­mell said his coun­cil has made a for­mal re­quest to Bruce County coun­cil to re­name the span the Oswald Bridge.

It would hon­our the for­mer mayor and county war­den Ron Oswald as well as his fa­ther, the late Wil­liam Oswald, who was reeve of the for­mer Elder­slie Town­ship and war­den of Bruce County in 1954.

Ham­mell said it would be a fit­ting trib­ute for all that the Oswald fam­ily has con­trib­uted to the com­mu­nity.

“Ron is also a great ad­vo­cate for our com­mu­nity . . . he is present at most com­mu­nity events . . . a great role model. I think it’s fit­ting that the Ch­es­ley bridge be named af­ter him and his fam­ily,” said Ham­mell. “The Oswald name has been long in our com­mu­nity and I think it’s ap­pro­pri­ate for this.”

“It’s quite an hon­our for the fam­ily,” said Ron Oswald, 86, who at­tended Thurs­day’s in­au­gu­ral ses­sion of county coun­cil. He said it would be an hon­our to see the bridge bear his fam­ily name, adding that his fa­ther would be proud, as well.

He noted that his great-grand­fa­ther came to the area from Scot­land in 1860 and set­tled a farm just north of Ch­es­ley.

The fam­ily has a long his­tory of pub­lic ser­vice. His grand­fa­ther was a coun­cil­lor and reeve of Elder­slie and his fa­ther was a reeve of Elder­slie coun­cil and Ron was on Elder­slie coun­cil as well.

Oswald was the last mayor of the Town of Ch­es­ley and the first mayor of Ar­ran-Elder­slie af­ter the re­struc­tur­ing of Ch­es­ley and the for­mer town­ships of Ar­ran and Elder­slie in 1999. He also served as Bruce County war­den in 2006 and most re­cently was the chair of Bruce County’s 150th an­niver­sary com­mit­tee in 2017.

The re­quest to re­name the bridge is ex­pected to come be­fore the county’s trans­porta­tion and en­vi­ron­men­tal ser­vices com­mit­tee on Dec. 20.

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