The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas, et Prevalebit. WEDNESDAY, JULY 12, 1882. Ashburton Bridge.
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 4.40 p.m,j
The letter recently addressed by the energetic member for Ashburton to the Minister for Public Works, and which we published in our issue of Monday last, directs attention to a matter of very considerable importance to the people of Ashburton and the surrounding districts. The present combined bridge over the Ashburton river was erected eight years ago, and for a time undoubtedly served its purpose well enough. But the Ashburton of eight years ago was a very different kind of place to the Ashburton of to-day. There were but few indications then of the flourishing town which has sprung up, thanks to its excellent site and the push and energy of its business men. In short, what did well enough when there were a mere handful of people settled hereabouts, is now no longer suitable for the growing requirements of the place. That Government should have determined to build a combined bridge (1.9,000 being contributed by the Province) when it would have been so much more desirable to have kept the rail traffic and the road traffic across the river entirely distinct, was unfortunate. No one appears to have foreseen the future that was in store for Ashburton, although, from its position and surroundings, it was bound to become a place of some importance. The error of judgment has been matter of regret ever since the bridge was built, and increases daily. Everything under the present system has to give way before the train arrangements, and
pedestrians, equestrians, and persons driving are alike frequent!}' inconvenienced by having to wait for some train to pass before venturing on to the bridge, while, should they happen to be crossing a lew minutes before a train is expected, they have to hurry along to get clear of the bridge in time. And this hurrying process is attended with considerable danger. Every driver knows the difficulty of avoiding the grooves upon the bridge, and the ease with which vehicles may come to grief while passing along the “ iron road.” Under all the circumstances of the case Mr Wright’s reminder to the Government, with reference to the proposal of the County Council, made to Government two years ago, to construct a separate bridge for the road traffic provided Government would contribute for that purpose one-half the amount originally paid by the district towards the cost of the present structure, is a very timely one, and in seeking to bring such a consummation about Mr Wright will have the best wishes for his success of every county resident, as well as their hearty thanks.