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Build up Confederation Bridge fabrication yard to help tourism, don’t tear down


This fall, we were disappointed to learn that the cruise ship, Silver Whisper of Silversea Cruises, carrying 380 passengers, cancelled its Oct. 17 stop in Summerside as it was concerned that it could not safely enter the harbour.

Many businesses, especially in the western part of the province, were preparing to welcome and host those passengers and to show them Island hospitality.

We also read in the paper, that the town of Borden-Carleton is trying to reinvigorate its community and that there are promises that the fabrication yard is to be razed and cleaned up. As we were returning to the Island from Moncton a couple of weeks ago, we looked at the fabrication yard, and we do not see it as an ugly blot on the landscape. These pillars are monuments to the construction of one of the world's most famous bridges that is instrumental in bringing much tourism to our Island.

I would like to suggest that instead of destroying this facility, that it instead be developed into a tourist attraction, with all things pertaining to the building of the Confederation Bridge, with videos of the construction playing for the visitors to see what an amazing feat this was, and how it was accomplished. The pier that was constructed for the project could become the port for cruise ships to dock, and could be a plus for the western parts of the province. A museum to commemorate the history of the ice-boats, car ferries, railroad, etc., could also be included to relate this story of how transportation to and within the Island has evolved over the years.

Instead of taking the millions of dollars required to demolish this part of our Island history, why do we not spend those dollars to develop what could be the answer to the pleas of the residents of Borden-Carleton, to revitalize their community, plus welcome cruise ships to another part of the province. This type of initiative could bring opportunity for new businesses to be created in Borden-Carleton and is central for bus tours to both the western, northern and eastern parts of our province.

We have operated a Bed and Breakfast for 26 years, and we offer our visitors the opportunity to watch a video of the planning, construction and operation of the Confederation Bridge. They are always very interested in learning about this project and much discussion is generated as they want to know more about it. As my husband grew up in the town of Borden, he can relate many stories to our guests about the railway and car ferries that served in the gateway to our province. Our guests are always very interested in this history.

So let us not make the mistake of losing the physical history that helped to construct the bridge, but use it to record the history of transportation to and from our province and how the town of Port Borden has contributed to this history. Give this plan of demolition a second thought as to what might be created, using the existing site as the base for a development plan.

Janice Trowsdale,

Bideford

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