Residents feel bridge should be given priority for funding
LANTZ: Hydes Bridge in Lantz will not reopen, officials with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) confirmed to The Weekly Press on Nov. 19.
Marla MacInnis, spokeswoman with TIR, said that the structural assessment of Hydes Bridge in Lantz is now complete.
“It has been determined that repairs are not feasible,” said MacInnis. “The bridge will remain closed until it is replaced with the posted detour in effect.”
MacInnis said the bridge is currently on the department’s five-year plan to be replaced in the 2022-2023 fiscal year.
“However, we’re beginning design work for the bridge replacement right away so the design is ready if funding for the new structure becomes available sooner,” said MacInnis.
Sam Howse, a resident who lives near Hydes Bridge, supports TIR’s decision. She said her frustrations, like those of many of her neighbors, lies with the extent it had to get to.
”When we moved here 10 years ago we were told it was to be replaced on a five-year plan and because it was pushed back we now have no access to Lantz,” said Howse. “It affects me but more so my son. He is now having to wait until 8 a.m. to be picked up by a empty bus and taken to school late every day as school starts at 8 a.m.”
She also runs a day-home and the bridge’s closure has impacted families who have to drop off and pick up their children. It could affect people from even bringing their children to her place if she had any new spaces open.
Travis Ashley has family who lives on the other side of the bridge. He is now going to have to make routine drives around through Elmsdale to visit them instead of a two minute drive over the bridge.
He said safety should always come first.
“With school kids on the buses driving on it, it’s good that it’s closed,” said Ashley. “It is annoying that it has been out so long and will continue to be out a long time by the sound of it.”
Ashley is hopeful the replacement will be sooner than the planned 2022-2023 timeline.
“Hopefully it doesn’t take too long to replace it,” he said.
Howse said neighbors she has spoken with are frustrated, but all realized this day would eventually come.
“They have put so many band-aids onto this bridge that never lasted more than a few weeks,” she said.
She said it feels like residents on the HRM side have been cut off from the community.
“I really hope that something gets put in place sooner rather than later, waiting for two or three years is unacceptable for such a high traffic bridge,” she said. “This bridge replacement is needed for locals but also businesses nearby and traveling through.”
Howse feels the bridge replacement should become a priority given the community is growing quickly.
“I will be contacting our government officials on a regular basis to push for this bridge to be replaced and to figure out where the funding is going to come from,” she said.
She encourages other residents do the same.
“I hope all the affected people in our area will continue to call and fight for this as well,” Howse said.