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The bridge is back: Port Hope restores Barrett Street span lost to flood in 1980

Cecilia Nasmith

By Cecilia Nasmith, Northumberland Today

VALERIE MACDONALD / Northumberland Today file photo
Port Hope Mayor Bob Sanderson (left) and Northumberland MPP Lou Rinaldi announced Monday co-operative provincial / municipal funding of about $920,000 each to replace and widen into two lanes the single lane Barrett Street bridge in Port Hope last year. Construction is done and the bridge is set to reopen.

VALERIE MACDONALD / Northumberland Today file photo Port Hope Mayor Bob Sanderson (left) and Northumberland MPP Lou Rinaldi announced Monday co-operative provincial / municipal funding of about $920,000 each to replace and widen into two lanes the single lane Barrett Street bridge in Port Hope last year. Construction is done and the bridge is set to reopen.

PORT HOPE -- An event that has sort of been 37 years in the making takes place Tuesday afternoon, as Port Hope cuts the ribbon to open the newly rebuilt Barrett Street bridge.

There hasn't been a permanent bridge in this location since the town's epic 1980 flood washed the previous one away. The Bailey bridge that spanned the banks of the Ganaraska River at this juncture was meant to be a temporary measure -- as the Bailey bridge itself is a military device that troops can deploy for missions of a limited time.

The years went by, however, and only recently did council make arrangements to rebuild. But the dismantling of the reliable old Bailey bridge last May, Councillor Terry Hicks was determined, would itself be an occasion.

Hicks made a photo op of the final car to cross the bridge before it was closed last year. Then he arranged with the military to make the dismantling itself a training exercise for engineers from the Canadian Armed Forces, with celebrations, displays and activities taking place for members of the community during the operation -- which he termed Operation Bye Bye Bailey.

Now the municipality is inviting members of the community to the grand opening of the new bridge at 2 p.m.

The celebration will include remarks from Mayor Bob Sanderson, as well as representatives for Northumberland-Peterborough South MP Kim Rudd and Northumberland-Quinte West MPP Lou Rinaldi. 

Guests are encouraged to join the event on the east side of the river.

cnasmith@postmedia.com