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The Gold River bridge near Chester has been closed since it failed an inspection in 2021. Photo: Municipality of Chester.

Gold River Trail Bridge set to be demolished

By Evan Taylor Apr 29, 2024 | 1:11 PM

Following a one million dollar investment from the Province of Nova Scotia funding is now in place for the demolition of the Gold River Bridge (commonly referred to as the Gold River Trail Bridge).

The bridge which has been closed since 2021, when it failed an inspection and was deemed unsafe for use.

It’s shutdown has become a cause of frustration for many as the bridge serves as a connection for the Rum Runner trail between Chester and Lunenburg.

The Municipality of Chester sought permission for ATVs and other off-road vehicles to use the nearby bridge crossing on Highway 103, however, they were denied.

A map showing the Gold River Bridge (1) which is set to be demoltied. Photo: Municipality of Chester.

“It’s not just locals, we have tourists that come and use our trail systems and this is obviously a source of frustration for them,” said Chester Deputy Warden Floyd Shatford. “We tried everything but there was no way to use the bridge, so we as council determined we needed to replace it regardless of the cost,”.

Funding is already in place for the replacement bridge, however, the demolition needed to be fully funded prior to it moving forward.

“The funding is now in place to demolish the bridge, so we can begin that process once the contracts go out,” said Shatford.

The Municipality hasn’t provided a timeframe on when the demolition work will take place yet, but public notices will be issued when it’s determined.

Editors note: There is also a bridge along Highway 3 called the Gold River Bridge, which is not being demolished.

Other local recreation funding

During the funding announcement from the province, they also announced a handful of other organizations receiving funding to support recreation activities.

They include:

  • St. Margaret’s Bay Area Rails to Trails Association – just over $1.3 million to replace the Puddle Bridge.
  • Through the Years Early Learning Centre – over $35,000 to make accessibility improvements, including new doors, ramps, bathroom and landscaping.
  • The Parish of St. Martin’s Grace Anglican Church – more than $19,500 to update flooring and replace heaters.
  • French Village Conservation Project – $15,000  to develop trails.
  • Black Point Community Centre – just over $13,000 to install sound panels and acoustic baffles to provide better sound in the high-ceiling hall, enabling more musical performances.
  • East Chester Recreation Association – close to $7,500 to make accessibility improvements.

“The provincial grants we are announcing today, such as the bridge and trail improvements, provide outdoor spaces that people value and enjoy. Supporting accessibility improvements will ensure that people can access community facilities,” said Danielle Barkhouse, MLA for Chester-St. Margaret’s. “These investments will support community organizations and provide recreational opportunities for residents of the western shore,”.