It looks as though the most southern section of Hanover's Community Trail system will remain closed for the remainder of the year or perhaps even a few years.
Last December Hanover closed off a section of the Community Trail system along the south line over liability concerns for two bridges along that stretch.
While the original intent was to address the liability concerns by refurbishing Bridges 2 and 4 along the south line trail system this year, plans have since changed.
Director of Recreation Sherri Walden says it turns out it will cost half a million dollars to repair Trail Bridges 2 and 4 and that rehabilitation project would only extend the life of the two bridges by 20 years.
Given the sheer cost, the Town has decided to take some extra time to determine what the best course of action is for Hanover.
As such, the Town has contracted an engineering firm to assist staff with a better understanding of Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority and Environmental Assessment Act realities.
There are currently three options being considered:
-repairing and rehabilitating the trail bridges
-replacing with alternative bridge structure pedestrian
-re-routing the trail to bypass bridges
As a next step Hanover is conducting a Cultural Heritage Assessment as per Ministry requirements.
The assessment which will cost between $1500 and $3000 dollars and will take six weeks to complete.
The assessment says Walden will help determine if there is a need for a full Environmental Assessment.
The findings from the Cultural Heritage Assessment will come back to Council in October.
Mayor Sue Paterson, stresses it is important Hanover has all of the facts to make the most informed decision on the matter.
The information gathered from the Cultural Heritage Assessment will help determine the best long-term solution for Hanover.
Hanover had budgeted 250 thousand dollars for the bridge rehabilitation project this year, only to find out the cost was twice that much.