MLA: Tourism Minister up to date on bridge, still a DOT issue - Mar. 14, 2013
Where once there were wooden supports under the Maxwell Crossing covered bridge, there were none Monday morning.
Charlotte-Campobello MLA Curtis Malloch says Trevor Holder, Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, is completely up-to-date on the Maxwell Crossing covered bridge file, and if he needs to be brought in to help deal with it, he will be.
Malloch was responding to an article stating Holder’s department was unresponsive to requests for an interview with Holder regarding the heavily damaged 103 year-old wooden covered bridge.
“Minister Holder is being responsive to me,” said Malloch. “I’m the guy that’s bringing the message to Fredericton. Everything I’m getting, I’m taking to both ministers.” Malloch is also in touch with Claude Williams, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Malloch says Holder has toured the site personally and understands the situation. Malloch also stressed action isn’t necessarily required from Holder at this point, as the fate of the bridge remains the responsibility at this point of the Department of Transportation.
“Trevor has been very passionate about my riding. I’ve always had Trevor’s ear, but the department I’ve been dealing with is transportation.”
Malloch, Williams, and Premier David Alward have previously stated their desire to have a decision on the bridge come as expediently as possible. The bridge was damaged Jan. 21 when a car struck and demolished the south side.
“One of the biggest factors is the minister (of Transportation) is dealing with the insurance company,” said Malloch.
“The minister, hopefully, in the near future will come out with the next steps.” The car that struck the bridge was insured by TD Insurance, and a spokesperson for that company stated last week that they couldn’t speak on the specifics of an open claim.
The bridge has been assessed by engineers and temporary repairs were made to ensure its structural integrity, but it remains closed.
Two sets of supports were also put under the bridge, resting on the ice that was present at the time. Now, the ice has melted and one support is nowhere in sight. While the second support still sits under the bridge it is now several feet below the structure and not providing any support at all.
Asked if that was any cause for concern, Malloch said “I don’t think it is. The bridge is stabilized and remains blocked off.”
Malloch said Fredericton is trusting him to be the “eyes and ears” on this issue.
“I’m pretty honoured by the trust the ministers have put in me, and you’ve heard the premier say I’m dealing with this.”