Bobcaygeon Road bridge to remain closed
By Chad Ingram
Published May 17, 2018
The Bobcaygeon Road bridge in downtown Minden will remain closed to vehicular traffic for a while yet, but has been reopened to pedestrian use.
“I have some bad news for the people of my community,” Minden Hills Reeve and Haliburton County Warden Brent Devolin said at a press conference outside the township office on Thursday, May 18. “The assessment of the bridge and Water Street has indicated there's significant damage.”
Along Water Street, the bursting of a water main will mean a portion of the thoroughfare will remain closed for six to eight weeks.
“At the bridge, there's at least four indications, structurally, on the southeast side with the expansion joint opening, cracks and concrete slabs and movement, that's there's something that's happened under the pier and underpinnings of the bridge,” Devolin said.
The reeve said divers will be brought in for an underwater assessment of the bridge, although, “the water volume and velocity at this time is still too much for them to get in the water.”
The bridge has been closed to traffic for nearly two weeks, and was also closed for period to foot traffic. As of Thursday, it had been reopened to pedestrian use.
“It substantiates the suggestion and move by staff to close the bridge in the way and circumstances that we did and those that are among the Monday morning quarterbacks in the public and press, I would say, obviously, we had good advice and we're not happy about the damage that's there, but obviously it had foundation,” Devolin said.
The downtown stretch of Bobcaygeon Road that had been closed to traffic was reopened Thursday, as well as Milne, Prince and Booth streets and Pritchard Lane, near the township office.
A number of other streets, such as Anson, Invergordon, Orde and Peck, remain closed to traffic.
Most of Water Street also remains closed to all but local traffic.
As for an estimation of how long the village's lone vehicle bridge will remain closed, barricaded by a series of large, concrete blocks, Devolin did not give a specific timeline, indicating it would be dependent on the results of the underwater assessment.
“My crystal ball isn't that good,” he said. “Obviously, we would like it as soon as possible, it will depend on the scale of it.”
The Red Cross and other aid groups have been going door-to-door in flood-affected areas to check on Minden residents.
Devolin cautioned that these organizations do not contact residents by phone with questions and to beware of any such scams.