By Chad Ingram
Published May 17 2018
The Bobcaygeon Road bridge in downtownMinden will remain closed to vehicular traffic for a while yet buthas been reopened to pedestrian use.
“I have some bad news for the peopleof my community” Minden Hills Reeve and Haliburton County WardenBrent Devolin said at a press conference outside the township officeon Thursday May 18. “The assessment of the bridge and Water Streethas indicated there's significant damage.”
Along Water Street the bursting of awater main will mean a portion of the thoroughfare will remain closedfor six to eight weeks.
“At the bridge there's at least fourindications structurally on the southeast side with the expansionjoint opening cracks and concrete slabs and movement that's there'ssomething that's happened under the pier and underpinnings of thebridge” Devolin said.
The reeve said divers will be broughtin for an underwater assessment of the bridge although “the watervolume and velocity at this time is still too much for them to get inthe water.”
The bridge has been closed to trafficfor 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 andmove by staff to close the bridge in the way and circumstances thatwe did and those that are among the Monday morning quarterbacks inthe public and press I would say obviously we had good advice andwe're not happy about the damage that's there but obviously it hadfoundation” Devolin said.
The downtown stretch of Bobcaygeon Roadthat had been closed to traffic was reopened Thursday as well asMilne Prince and Booth streets and Pritchard Lane near the townshipoffice.
A number of other streets such asAnson Invergordon Orde and Peck remain closed to traffic.
Most of Water Street also remainsclosed to all but local traffic.
As for an estimation of how long thevillage's lone vehicle bridge will remain closed barricadedby a series of large concrete blocks Devolin did not give aspecific timeline indicating it would be dependent on the results ofthe underwater assessment.
“My crystal ball isn't that good”he said. “Obviously we would like it as soon as possible it willdepend on the scale of it.”
The Red Cross and other aid groups havebeen going door-to-door in flood-affected areas to check on Mindenresidents.
Devolin cautioned that theseorganizations do not contact residents by phone with questions andto beware of any such scams.