KFA Up In Arms Over Bridges


The municipality overbuilds bridges and wastes millions of dollars on infrastructure.

One of thousands of municipally-maintained culverts in Chatham-Kent.

That’s according to Harry Lawson, the Vice President of the Kent Federation of Agriculture.

“They had the innovation committee and I think we attended every meeting, that committee heard a lot about what Chatham-Kent is doing and they’re bragging about how good they are and we think there’s a lot of room for improvement,” Lawson says. “It’s taxpayers money, we want to get the best use of that and we’re not satisfied that’s happening.”

As an example, Lawson says Pavey Line doesn’t need a $750,000 bridge when a $250,000 steel culvert would do.

After a lengthy debate this week, municipal council agreed to make repairs to a bridge on McDougall Line rather than shut the span down, which Lawson says in that case was they best they could hope for.

However, Mayor Darrin Canniff says that decision comes with a hefty price tag.

“The issue’s going to be what aren’t we going to do now that we’re spending $3-million on a bridge,” Canniff says. “There will be ripples somewhere.”

There are some 850 bridges and 19,000 culverts across the municipality, many of which are primarily used for agricultural vehicles.