Ferryland residents angry over long wait for bridge fix

An unassuming bridge that’s fallen into disrepair in Ferryland has created quite the divide in the community.

Small bridge that connects several homes to the town has been closed since August

Jimmy O'Brien, right, and Willie Meade want to see the bridge connecting their homes to the town of Ferryland fixed as soon as possible. (Gavin Simms/CBC)

An unassuming bridge that's fallen into disrepair in Ferryland has created quite the divide in the community.

In August, an old culvert gave way and the bridge nearly collapsed.

The bridge is now closed to vehicle traffic, and resident Jim O'Brien says that if it doesn't get fixed soon, there's a good chance it will wash out.

"This is the longest time, the worst time I've ever seen a road be barred off," he said.

 "All we have to do is get one wind out from the southeast and what's going to happen? It's going to take it all out with us and then we're in trouble."

He says it's the government's fault the bridge hasn't been fixed yet. 

The culvert holding this bridge up gave way in August and the bridge has been closed to vehicle traffic ever since. (Gavin Simms/CBC)

The small bridge is the link between several homes and the rest of the town. 

Residents can still get across by foot, but they worry about what will happen when winter comes. 

"It's getting colder every day," said Willie Meade. 

"How you gonna get an emergency vehicle up there if someone's out sick?"

The sign says 'Cross At Your Own Risk' but Willie Meade says he still continues to drive his ATV to his house on the other side of the bridge. (Gavin Simms/CBC)

Dispute with town

Near the site of the bridge, Meade has put up a sign blaming the town council for the lack of fix.

The sign blames town "negligence" and warns East Coast Trail hikers to avoid his property, which has long been part of the popular trail. 

Willie Meade made this homemade sign to deter hikers from crossing his property on the East Coast Trail. He says he will no longer allow the trail to go through his property because of how long it's taken to fix the bridge. (Gavin Simms/CBC)

But Ferryland Mayor Adrian Kavanagh says it's not the town's fault the bridge hasn't been fixed yet. 

"If they were neglected it was due to the fact that the government just wouldn't put this through," said Kavanagh. 

"It's not only frustrating for them it was frustrating for the council."

He says a fix for the bridge should finally be coming in the next few weeks. 

"The specialty culvert is ordered and when it gets there it will be put in place and the road will be put back as it was before."

With files from Gavin Simms