Central Manitoulin joins some municipalities in requesting bridge to swing every two hours

Photo by Warren Schlote

CENTRAL MANITOULIN – Central Manitoulin council voted to join some other Island municipalities in requesting that the Little Current swing bridge only open every two hours for boat passage through the North Channel at it’s narrowest point, instead of the current hourly opening. The motion was moved by Councillor Dale Stephens and seconded by Councillor Rose Diebolt and was in response to a query from the Manitoulin Municipal Association. The bridge currently swings hourly as boating traffic requires it, dawn to dust, spring, summer and fall—although it opens on demand for commercial water traffic.

“I would go so far as to say I would like the bridge to only open three times a day,” said Councillor Stephens. 

Mayor Richard Stephens noted that the request came from a motion at the MMA. 

“I know NEMI is against the loss of tourist trade,” said Councillor Dale Scott. “They want to get the boats in as fast as possible. They forget that many of those boats go on to other towns, to Kagawong and Gore Bay. It’s not all about NEMI.”

“The Gore Bay fellow was for it,” said Mayor Stephens.

“I kind of like the idea of the bridge swinging on the hour,” said Councillor Steve Shaffer. “It reminds people ‘you are arriving on the Island, take a breath’. I think the swinging of the bridge sets a tone.” He did, however, suggest that fewer swings would extend the life of the bridge.

Council’s position will be forwarded to the MMA.