Bridge collapses on old logging road

Government agency says bridge won’t be replaced

Derek Montague derek.montague@thelabradorian.ca
Published on August 31, 2015

The Bailey Bridge on Hickey’s Road in Happy Valley-Goose Bay collapsed after a washout earlier this year. The NL Forestry and Agrifoods Agency says the fallen bridge will be removed from the creek but won’t be replaced.

©Photo by Derek Montague/The Labradorian

A small bridge on an old logging road in central Labrador has collapsed after a washout occurred earlier this year, and the province’s Forestry and Agrifoods Agency has no plans to replace it.

The bridge was covering a creek that ran through Hickey’s Road, which was once used for commercial timber harvesting and other forestry activities.
Due to the bridge collapsing into the creek, the road, which is located off Grand Lake Road, is now closed to the public.
 In an email to The Labradorian, a spokeswoman for the agency said the Bailey Bridge on Hickey’s Road collapsed after a washout rendered the entire road impassable.
“The bridge will be removed to ensure water flow is not further impeded and fish habitat is protected,” stated the email. “Given that there is very little use from the public and no commercial forestry activity or domestic cutting in the vicinity, the road will remain closed and the bridge will not be repaired.”
According to the Agency spokeswoman, the bridge is scheduled to be removed from the creek within the next two or thee weeks.
For some, the news of the bridge’s collapse comes as a disappointment.
Happy Valley-Goose Bay resident Jonathan Cummings enjoyed going to a camping spot in the area during the summertime. In order to get to his favourite camping spot, he would have to cross the Bailey Bridge.
Cummings, along with his wife Annette, nieces, and two dogs, enjoyed berry picking in the area, and admiring the great view.
“I think it’s a shame because it’s a nice road, and it’s got a pretty spectacular view when you get to the top of it,” said Cummings.
“You could drive up onto a bare rock mound, and you could overlook Wilburn Bay and see Goose Bay.”
According to Cummings, the steel bridge must have been relatively new, since there used to be a different bridge spanning the creek, before he noticed it had been changed a few years ago.
“I was pretty stunned, I suppose, to see that a wooden bridge had survived for, I don’t know how many years, and then they put in a new bridge and then it collapses due to some kind of washout, I guess,” said Cummings.

Cummings said he was the first to discover that the bridge had collapsed, when he went on Hickey’s Road on Aug. 13 of this year. He immediately reported the bridge’s collapse to a government office.
Cummings believes he won’t be the only person disappointed that the road will remain closed because, over the years, he has seen other people camping in the same area.

derek.montague@thelabradorian.ca