Hartland — The historic Hartland covered bridge is scheduled to be demolished this summer after several shingles blew off during a recent wind storm.
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure announced that the cost of replacing the shingles was simply not in the budget, and that the entire bridge will need to be replaced with something cheaper and easier to maintain: a modular bridge.
The community of Hartland has demanded to know why the government has chosen to replace the entire bridge rather than simply replacing the dislodged shingles. Minister Bill Fraser visited the region to advise the public that the government had no other options.
“We found that the shingles that were installed are no longer being produced. We felt that it would be in bad taste for such a prestigious landmark to be protected with mismatched shingles.”
Fraser became defensive when members of the public suggested using similar shingles or replacing the entire roof as an alternative.
“Let me assure you that this government has done a fantastic job of removing covered bridges in this province,” he asserted. “No government has ever removed more covered bridges during their mandate than us.”
Tourism Minister John Ames also attempted to reassure the irritated crowd.
“Our goal is to protect the culture and heritage of the province,” Ames declared. “With that in mind, this site will be preserved as a monumental icon for the province and for the country. Our goal is to replace the covered bridge with something modern that reflects the identity of our unique province — cheap, easily and quickly thrown together, with an eye to convenience rather than the future. When completed, Hartland will be the home of the world’s longest modular bridge!”
The bridge has remained closed due to safety concerns and demolition is scheduled to begin in early July. The government has vowed to have the new bridge in place by September with an opening ceremony scheduled just weeks ahead of the provincial election.