Robinson Township Local Services Board wants bridge to swing hourly; not in favour of change

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ROBINSON TOWNSHIP – The Robinson Township Local Services Board (LSB) are not in favour of a proposal to have the Manitoulin Swing Bridge opened every two hours during the boating season, instead of the current one-hour dawn to dusk intervals, when there is boating traffic needing to pass through.

Tim Mackinlay, chair of the Robinson LSB informed members at a public pre-budget meeting held last week that the Manitoulin Municipal Association (MMA) had asked all municipalities and townships to consider this proposal. “If you have been reading the Expositor lately, you know that every municipality/township is being asked if the swing bridge should be opened every two hours or keep this at one hour as it currently is.”

“It has swung on the hour every hour for at least 50 years,” stated Karen Noble, secretary/treasurer of the LSB. “Boating helps to bring tourism and business to Little Current and the rest of the Island. And if a boater turns around because they have to wait two hours to get through the bridge, they will never come back.”

A member of the public agreed that boating brings in tourism to the Island and is federally regulated as are similar bridges. She said the bridge has been opened on the hour for many years and any regulation changes would take some time to establish.

Mr. Mackinlay said, “the bridge has been opening on the hour for at least 50 years and this information has been in nautical publications all this time. A lot of changes to publications and notices to mariners would have to be made if the opening is changed.”  

Those at the meeting agreed the bridge should continue opening on the hour.