Sudbury senior calls on city to repair downtown walking bridge
SUDBURY -- Sudbury senior Morris Jolly says it's high-time the city fixed up the Nelson Street pedestrian bridge.
Jolly, an avid walker, has lived in the Minnow Lake neighbourhood for more than 40 years and the bridge is on his daily route. He says it's become an eyesore and he's calling on the city to take action.
"They didn't do a paint job on it since it was put there and every year I say well maybe next year they're going to do it - maybe next year - nope they never do it and that's all we need, is a little sprucing up," said Jolly.
He and his wife sent photos of the condition of the bridge to their city councillor, Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc, after failing to see the city take action.
"Council always says, every council, we're going to beautify from downtown the arena up to the Nelson Street bridge, but they never do it," Jolly said. "They have their concentration of spending good money after bad on the arena and they're doing it again."
Make it a priority
Both Leduc and Ward 10 Coun. Fern Cormier, whose ward the bridge sits in, have been asking for the bridge to be made a priority.
"It's a beautiful bridge and these are the things that our city staff have to look at," said Leduc.
Tony Cecutti, the city's GM of infrastructure, said the city's bridges are inspected every two years.
"We agree it's unsightly," he said. "It needs paint and there's paint coming off the bridge."
Cecutti said the bridge has an estimated 17 years left and he's hoping to be able to launch a study to determine next steps to maintain it.
The bridge is part of the Elgin Street Greenway Project, which says the city should be evaluating the aesthetics to clean it up. But it has no available funds at the moment.
Refurbishing or painting the bridge would be a sizeable investment, so they would want to see the results of the study first.
Given the age of the bridge and how it dangles over the CPR tracks, the bridge would have to be shrouded, for example to protect the area, the trains and neighbours.
Cecutti added if something urgent pops up, it would be addressed immediately and repaired out of safety.
At one time, the bridge was a thoroughfare for vehicles travelling from downtown to Ramsey Lake and Bell Park before the Paris Street Bridge of Nations was built.