Fund­ing an­nounced for Sand­ford draw­bridge

Draw­bridge in Yar­mouth County a beloved icon among lo­cals and tourists


Funds are be­ing used to make me­chan­i­cal re­pairs to a beloved tiny draw­bridge in Sand­ford, Yar­mouth County, to make it op­er­a­tional and safe for com­mer­cial fish­ing ves­sels and the vis­it­ing pub­lic.

Yar­mouth MLA Zach Churchill joined lo­cal of­fi­cials on Mon­day morn­ing, Oct. 29, to an­nounce fund­ing for the draw­bridge – which has long been dubbed lo­cally as the world’s small­est draw­bridge. But the bridge hasn’t been in op­er­a­tion for some time.

Ear­lier this fall, De­velop Nova Sco­tia contributed $5,500 dol­lars, with ad­di­tional funds com­ing from the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Yar­mouth and the Depart­ment of Fish­eries and Oceans, for a to­tal con­tri­bu­tion of $14,800. The funds are to be used to make me­chan­i­cal re­pairs to the winches, ca­bles, pul­leys and hinges.

Re­pair­ing the bridge will al­low tourists and com­mer­cial fish­er­men to cross the bridge when “closed” and ves­sels to ac­cess the small salt wa­ter pond on the in­side of the bridge as an area to com­plete nec­es­sary re­pairs to ves­sels when the pond drains at low tide.

“This is a wel­come in­vest­ment in one of Yar­mouth’s most iconic pieces of in­fra­struc­ture,” said Churchill. “Sup­port for in­fra­struc­ture projects, large and small, is very im­por­tant for our lo­cal fish­er­men, tourism op­er­a­tors and our com­mu­nity.”

Patti Dur­kee, coun­cil­lor for District 4 in the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Yar­mouth, was in­stru­men­tal in se­cur­ing fund­ing for the draw­bridge.

“I am very thank­ful to the three lev­els of govern­ment who have rec­og­nized that the Sand­ford draw­bridge, although small, has a large im­pact on this vil­lage.” said Dur­kee. “Many thanks to the har­bour au­thor­ity, Small Craft Har­bours, Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of the District of Yar­mouth and De­velop Nova Sco­tia for pro­vid­ing the fund­ing for this project.”

West Nova MP Colin Fraser said the fed­eral govern­ment is com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing the unique and wide-rang­ing in­fra­struc­ture pri­or­i­ties of ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties. He said in­vest­ing in the draw­bridge en­sures that lo­cal fish­ers and busi­nesses can ef­fi­ciently use the wharf fa­cil­i­ties and cre­ate fur­ther eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties, “while en­sur­ing that this unique struc­ture can con­tinue to be en­joyed by res­i­dents and visi­tors alike.”

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion posted on the Yar­mouth and Aca­dian Shores Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion web­site, the Yar­mouth County bridge, lo­cated at the Sand­ford Wharf, was orig­i­nally built so that the fish­er­men and visi­tors could cross from one side of the Sand­ford wharf sys­tem to the other with­out hav­ing to travel back on the road.

As men­tioned, for decades peo­ple have re­ferred to the Sand­ford draw­bridge as the world’s small­est. And if you search on­line for the world’s small­est draw­bridge, you do find ref­er­ences to the bridge in Sand­ford. How­ever, you’ll also find ref­er­ences and pho­to­graphs of the Som­er­set Bridge in Ber­muda, which is said to mea­sure 32 inches/81 cen­time­tres wide and is re­puted to be the small­est work­ing draw­bridge in the world. Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion posted on­line, the pan­els of that draw­bridge can be lifted by hand to al­low the mast of a sail­boat to pass through.

An em­bar­goed me­dia re­lease about the an­nounce­ment for the Sand­ford draw­bridge that was sent to the Tri-County Van­guard news­room on Oct. 26 re­ferred the Sand­ford bridge as the world’s small­est, but a re­vised me­dia re­lease is­sued on Oct. 29, which in­cluded a cor­rec­tion to the mone­tary fund­ing amount, had dropped a cou­ple of ref­er­ences to the Sand­ford bridge be­ing the world’s small­est, in­clud­ing in a quote at­trib­uted to Churchill.

But don’t read any­thing into that, said Brynn Langille, man­ager of com­mu­ni­ca­tions for the Lib­eral party, who was listed as a con­tact per­son on the me­dia re­lease. She said it was sim­ply an er­ror when the orig­i­nal re­lease was re­vised.

“It wasn’t in­ten­tion­ally re­moved, it was just one of the ed­its of the drafts made but there should have been an­other one,” Langille said. “Zach Churchill def­i­nitely still stands by it be­ing the small­est.”

Asked about the on­line ref­er­ences to the bridge in Ber­muda as be­ing the world’s small­est draw­bridge, Coun­cil­lor Dur­kee notes the planks on that bridge have to be pulled up by hand to be opened up.

“We still crank the chains to lift the whole bridge,” she said about the Sand­ford bridge.


The tiny draw­bridge in Sand­ford, Yar­mouth County, is a much beloved lo­cal icon.


An an­nounce­ment about fund­ing and re­pairs com­ing to the draw­bridge was made Oct. 29.

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