RE: Pillar proposal, June 20.
It is actually the uninspiring plan for this bridge that really stinks.
I consider Mary Anne Neville’s opinion not very helpful in the debate of whether to repair, replicate or consider a new design. Nostalgia is a legitimate claim!
Neville is however “spot on” regarding her view of the misguided “pillars” idea. A horrifying design.
Heritage designations aside, one actually needs to consider this historical landmark as offering a sense of place ingrained in the vast majority of residents and visitors. Like the railway bridge at Bissell Park (with its view of “the former little folks brick chimney”); two prominent church towers visible from everywhere; to the “Dalby House”; these landmarks give identity to a nostalgic mind.
I, among many, love steel, whether painted or rusted. It harkens to a time of great fascination with industrial material. Rows of rivets are a sublime and disappearing design feature.
This steel beacon, denoting entry into a most charming village (and our dear home), is an enchanting portal to the sensational streetscapes that follow. The interplay of light and shadow on the overhead girders is a delight at all hours and in all seasons.
What would Gustave Eiffel have to say ?
Not represented in any A.J. Casson painting, our bridge compels artistically in many photographs and contemporary depictions. Have a serious look at the “Late Night Elora” graphic so wonderfully presented by “Commoncraft Elora”. That’s a brilliant image.
The underpinnings of the David Street bridge next to my home, viewed from Victoria Park, has become iconic with a sense of place. Once in serious jeopardy, it was saved. It’s a hidden gem, but integral to village identity.
All over Europe it is the trucks that get smaller and not the village bridges becoming larger.
Charming, impractical characteristics are protected by very active preservationist groups. We have this charm; why sell out to trucking lobbyists?
The concept of the bridge bike lane (to and from nowhere) is erroneous. Bigger trucks alone will benefit from any added space. A disaster at that corner may await all of us.
I advocate replicating the present bridge, structurally sound, incorporating as much of the original steel as is practical. This requires a revised budget, which presents a huge problem. “Where there is a will, there is a way.” I do not for one minute think this idea is too late.
I urge all residents to join the majority and lobby the municipality to rebuild an improved, unique downtown bridge, in its previous incarnation. Please discourage the redundant “welcoming pillars” idea – it’s poorly thought out and not necessary at all.