Seal Cove to lose its rattle and hum

By Craig Westcott

It’s hard to say if anyone will actually miss it, but the days of the quarrelsome bridge in Seal Cove appear to be numbered.
That’s because CBS council passed a motion last week to hire Harbourside Engineering Consultants to act as the prime consultant to oversee the eventual replacement of the structure which spans one of the most picturesque riverine vistas in Conception Bay South.
Harbourside will be paid some $99,903, including HST, to oversee the work, which includes drawing up plans and calling tenders for the removal of the structure over Seal Cove River and the building of its replacement. The actual construction work will involve a separate tender. Last year, the Province and the Town agreed on a cost-shared budget of some $2.6 million for the project.
“This will be big news down in Seal Cove,” allowed Councillor-at-Large Rex Hillier, who made the motion to hire Harbourside. “That’s a bridge that was put there as a temporary bridge a long time ago. And I’m not sure which councillor’s name should go on it, but I know there have been councillors who have fought the good fight through terms of council to try to replace it. In my time, it would have been the Richard Murphy Bridge. I’m not sure who was there before that.”
To which someone suggested former councillor Ken George.
“Okay, so it would have been the Ken George Bridge,” said Hillier. “Perhaps we could combine that (the new bridge’s two possible namesakes) because I know they are buddies. So, this is good news for down in Seal Cove.”
The old Bailey bridge crossing Seal Cove River has a character of its own. Besides offering stunning views of both lengths of the river, it was known sometimes to resound with a gunshot like noise as vehicles passed over it causing a steel lip to slap off the iron surface, and then whir with the noise of rubber tires as they rubbed the steel threads of the bridge’s road surface. The loud slapping noise was fixed a couple of years ago, putting an end to complaints from nearby residents who were occasionally woken from their sleep by late night retorts from the structure.
“Actually, this is the second bridge that we’ve approved in Seal Cove this year,” noted Hillier. “So, transportation in Seal Cove is going to be much improved over the next couple of years and I’m really excited to be able to start this process and replace this temporary Bailey bridge that was put there so long ago.”
Mayor Darrin Bent seconded that emotion. “And hopefully the new bridge won’t make the noises that the old bridge has made for however many years,” he said.

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