Railway, township butt heads over bridge

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EAST FERRIS, Ont. — The township and Canadian National (CN) are butting heads over who’s going to pay for taking down an abandoned railway trestle.

CN owns the abandoned trestle on an abandoned line along Lake Nosbonsing Road, but it wants East Ferris Township to assume the liability for tearing down the 60-foot high bridge and supports, as well as the cost.

The railway and the township have been fighting over the bridge for about two years. The municipal council wants to straighten out the road because it says the location of the trestle creates a dangerous S-curve and narrowing of the road at the bridge.

But East Ferris Reeve Bill Vrebosch is determined to make CN assume the liability and the cost of removing the bridge.

He says the lack of any barriers on the top of the trestle means somebody could plunge to their death. “It’s in the best interests of CN to take it out because of the liability,” he tells local media.

Moreover, he says, “CN made money on it (the rail line and trestle) for 75 years; they can take it out now.”

Vrebosch says he has learned CN officials have agreed to meet with the municipality and the Nipissing MPP Feb. 25 during the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) conference in Toronto. He says he’s looking forward to the negotiations with the railway, but “My negotiation starts with it’s yours, you take it down.”

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