Fort Frances Bridge
"Current tolls, collected only on northbound traffic, are $6 per car, more for trucks, but officials on both sides of the border wouldn't mind if the tolls were scrapped altogether...We absolutely want to see it go into public hands," said Fort Frances Mayor Dan Onichuk...Unlike eastern turnpikes, we have a philosophical preference that there not be a toll."
Does no one want to take responsibility for anything any more. Not only should the Government buy the bridge but it should rebuild and maintain it too at no charge to the locals: "the bridge has been well-maintained, but the 1908 road and railway span probably has only about 15 to 20 years of life left. A replacement would cost about $8 million, the agency said. A two-lane second span built in 1979 is in better shape."
However, it does not come free either. "Depending on the type of repairs for the piers, Mn/DOT estimated the annual maintenance cost for this second bridge to be in the $21,000-30,000 range for the next 20 years (not including any deck replacement issues). The replacement deck options are estimated to cost $1.5 million for replacement to current width, $2 million for a widened bridge, and $5.9 million for a new structure in 20 years."
I bet if Gridlock Sam saw the almost 100 year old bridge he would say that it was falling down, falling down, falling down.
Well I have a better idea. The City of Windsor should try to buy it. I am sure that someone in Administration can justify it as a stratgic fit for our Tunnel [perhaps for redundancy]! With our new financial strength, I am sure that there is "wiggle room" to buy it.
Interestingly, the "private" companies that own it are suffering from a difficult paper market and are looking to get rid of non-essential assets. Instead of using our cash for Windsor roads and sewers, we can expand our border crossing business and buy it to increase our non-essential assets. Who cares, to paraphrase mayor Daley of chicago that "running a [Bridge or Tunnel] is not a core function of city government."
We could go out and compete for ownership of the new bridge too since the Ambassador Bridge Co. might be interested in it. If they have a desire for it, then it is up to our entrepreneurial Council to use taxpayer money to beat them at their own game.
Here is why Windsor better hurry so our big, rich and powerful competitor can't buy it first:
- "Let’s face it—if there’s a private guy out there and it happens to be the one we think it is, he’s got more money than you and I could dream of,” hinted Mayor Onichuk.
“Those issues won’t be an issue to him, but they definitely will be to the residents of Fort Frances, International Falls, Rainy River District, and Koochiching County.
We do understand there may be another party interested in the bridge and certainly we don’t want our strategies to be public to the extent it would hurt our efforts."
To be honest, though I do not like the name of the bridge. It needs to be changed to preserve its history yet to reflect the new ownership Hmmm I got it: