While it has been in operation for some time, Mapleton Township hosted an official opening on Nov. 21 for the Denstedt bridge on Sideroad 12, southeast of Moorefield.
The reconstruction of the bridge, which included the demolition and replacement of the old structure as well as approach guardrails, was made possible through a Canada Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (COMRIF) grant.
The federal and provincial governments each contributed $309,000 for the project, with Mapleton Township committing the balance of the total eligible cost of $927,000.
“These investments show our commitment to healthy communities like Mapleton,” said Perth-Wellington MP Gary Schellenberger.
“Congratulations to all of you [township council and staff] for your hard work on this project.”
MPP John Wilkinson noted the project is essential to ensure the township maintains its vibrant rural economy.
“We can’t get our produce to market in this part of the world without having investments in our roads, and particularly our bridges,” Wilkinson said.
He added Wellington County has more bridges per capita than any other area in the province.
“So it’s very, very important – this is our public transit here in rural Ontario, and that’s why we are making these investments,” Wilkinson said.
Mayor John Green said the replacement of the Denstedt bridge would not have been possible without the COMRIF grant.
“This is just another example we have of partnering with the federal and provincial governments on our projects,” Green said. “We all know … the biggest deficiency we have in municipal politics is infrastructure.”
The mayor noted that, compared to some municipalities, Mapleton bridges are “not in bad shape, by a long shot. So we’re very pleased to be a partner in this.
“The infrastructure deficiencies in this province can’t be addressed without the federal and provincial governments, so I thank both our representatives.”
Green also recognized John Burns and Burnside Engineering for its role in the project.
“We’re very glad to be a small part of this,” Burns replied.
“On behalf of Burnside, we want to extend our congratulations to you and your federal and provincial partners on the successful completion of this project.”