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.