Volunteer contractor services to keep the family safe, replacing the bridge connecting the Canso homestead to the street
CANSO – If you drive around the community of Canso, you will probably never see Robert Bond’s house, even though he lives on Main Street. Or you could say its driveway entrance is on Main Street, but the house is about 500 feet from the road and requires crossing a stream to get to it.
Recently retired Bond lives in his childhood home and has crossed this stream, crossing a wooden bridge, thousands of times. Weather and traffic have taken their toll on the structure which Bond says was built 55 years ago.
He said The newspaper last week that there had been repairs to the bridge over the years, but last year he knew it would have to be replaced soon.
” The ropes [loaded longitudinal beams] who crossed the bridge, they became bad; at any point you could have crossed and entered the creek, ”Bond said.
Due to the poor condition of the bridge, Bond and his wife were in danger in an emergency. No ambulance or fire truck could cross the bridge in an emergency “because it [emergency vehicle] was probably too heavy for the bridge, ”he explained.
This safety issue was brought to the attention of Steven Myatt of Striker Construction.
“There was a little controversy across the EMO (Emergency Management Office) about the dangerous bridge, so we took it in hand; between East Coast Hydraulics, Striker Construction and Verhagen Demolition, ”he said.
“It was a group effort. It was kind of my idea; we had a meeting one night at the fire department and realized we weren’t allowed to cross the bridge if there was a fire so it was a dangerous thing. I took it in hand to move forward with the project.
Before the offer for a new bridge was made, Bond said he was considering fixing it.
“I was looking for different options. I guess I’ll have to replace it with wood like what’s already there. When Steven mentioned that [the volunteer replacement], I jumped on it and said, ‘Sure I’m going to take a new bridge.’… I really enjoyed that.
Myatt told Bond, to his surprise, that the bridge would be free; free of charge for labor or materials.
The new bridge will make a big difference in Bond’s life and he said, “probably to whoever takes over [the homestead]. “
Myatt said of the volunteer effort: “I knew him [Bond] for years… He would never ask for anything. We took it upon ourselves to help him.
For three days, the three construction companies worked to remove the old bridge and install a new steel bridge in Bond Alley, completing the job on July 12.
Bond said of the construction: “They got the materials and Feltmate – East Coast Hydraulics – they welded the material and they brought it in and put it in the driveway; Steven and his team Earl Myatt and Laurie Keefe and Alex MacKenzie.
“East Coast Hydraulics donated their labor and welder to weld the bridge. I donated time, machinery, manpower, a dump truck and gravel. Verhagen donated steel for the bridge … [It was] a three day project from start to finish, ”Myatt said.
When asked why he and the volunteers who gathered had taken on this project, when contractors and materials were scarce and in high demand, Myatt added, “We are all extremely busy, but when it comes to safety I think we shouldn’t worry about the almighty dollar. It’s all about safety.