As many folks read in the Oct. 15 issue of the Barrhead Leader, Town of Barrhead administration and councillors recently decided to demolish the Blue Heron Boardwalk due to safety concerns.
The decision was based on the facts provided by an inspection by a certified and well-respected engineering firm.
However, according to a lot of the social media chatter that accompanied the article online, it was a wasted effort. The $20,000 spent on the inspection would have been better spent upgrading the boardwalk.
And perhaps they are right. But I have my own question for the folks decrying the town’s decision: if you don’t conduct a proper inspection, how do you know for sure?
For example, I once owned a Pontiac Transport that looked immaculate, but mechanically it was a piece of junk. I have also experienced the reserve situation, where something looks like it will disintegrate just by looking at it, but it is just a rock. Again, you don’t know until you do the proper investigation.
Going through the engineering report, which I encourage people to do, I have no doubt the right decision was made.
Let’s face it: the boardwalk had issues that went beyond being cosmetic. The report identified that. We also have to look at from the perspective of someone who has mobility issues.
I read a comment on Facebook saying that their family is a regular user of the boardwalk and no one has ever fallen off. Good for them. But the truth is it doesn’t take much even for the most able-bodied to have an accident.
Now consider what would happen if someone with mobility issues falls, hits their head, breaks a bone, or whatever because of the state of the condition of the boardwalk. Can you imagine the lawsuit? Is that a risk you are willing to take?
Again, anyone who believes the decision was the wrong one needs to reserve their judgement until they read the engineer’s report. It is available online as part of the Oct. 8 council agenda. Once they read it, I have little doubt they will agree with town councillors.
I also believe that you will disagree with Coun. Ty Assaf, who said the closure wasn’t because of a maintenance issue or lack thereof.
A person does not have to read a report to see the boardwalk needed more than its share of TLC. Was that the cause of its demise? Maybe not, but all one had to do is take a walk on it to see maintenance was lacking.
As for the future of the boardwalk, I truly hope that as the town website states that construction of a replacement will begin in the spring. But if you ask me that is not a given.
At the Oct. 8 council meeting, CAO Edward LeBlanc said he would present several options for council to consider during their upcoming budget deliberations. As we all know, there are no shortages of places they can put taxpayer money to good use. Will the boardwalk win out? We’ll see.