With the Premier’s cash in the bank,it has been announced that the CVRD is about to receive another shot in the arm for the Kinsol program.
The Ministry for Economic Development has recieved an application for a $600 000 dollar amount to see the bridge repaired or replaced.This will bring the total of funds for the bridge program to 3.7 million dollars.It seems this restoration finally has support -or does it? The bridge was to be replaced with another of smaller design -this was when there was no money other then the MOTs demolition money available.The Olympics and Indiginous games are coming to the area and the historic span could be recognized on a multitude of levels by an equal number of Government Ministries. Now the money is coming in and the CVRD can alter their course of replacement,and go full on with a restoration,or will they? The board is maintaining their only course is to stay on track with a replacement,and build the lesser bridge . Mayor Jack Peake has again echoed the need for the original trestle to remain.
The Internationally acclaimed restoration firm of Macdonald and Lawrence,has been exploring options to restore the trestle. This month, engineers from Britain will visit the trestle to discuss methods of complete restoration.Other bridge firms are reportedly wondering where the inflated MOT figures for construction efforts are coming from.
The CVRD mandate at present is still one of replacing the historic bridge-knocking it down, building a stick bridge -and selling off all remaining good wood in it.This approach was the way to go in The Myra Canyon,but people would like to see the original Kinsol retained.
The private sector is more interested in seeing history preserved then sharing the myopic opinions of the replacement theorists. Some 12000 people in the Cowichan Valley have now signed the petitions that will be presented at the Legislature.The Historic Monuments Board of Canada is hopeful that The Kinsol Trestle will be presented and commemorated as a nationally historic site of significance before 2010. This may point to a joint Provincial /Federal program.
It seems that Canadians in the east recognize and celebrate their covered bridges ,while we are bent on removing all vestages of our working history with regard to this one remaining trestle that is the largest in the Commonwealth of nations.
What a legacy the CVRD board will leave behind if the Kinsol is allowed to fall.