Do we really need to repair Bagley bridge?

Knee-jerk reactions to problems are often ill-considered. Somehow we have decided to repair Bagley Street Bridge without much thought as to why. Consider that in 1970 when that whole area was just a forest, Alpena’s population was nearly 14,000 people. Shortly thereafter, it was decided that a bridge should be built and in 1977, while Alpena was still growing, it was.

Alpena’s population as of 2011 was about 10,400, reflecting an ongoing decline and certainly a number far lower than the number that justified the Bagley Street Bridge. The next reasonable question would be what would happen if we, for example, closed the bridge to traffic (perhaps with easement for bikes, snowmobiles etc). Well, the traffic would go through the city instead. That would mean more traffic in the city – but still traffic even lighter than that which went through the city in 1970 as there are now about 20 percent less people here.

If I owned a business in the city, I’d very much welcome an increase in traffic – it would give me a much greater opportunity to sell my goods. Further, I’d welcome repairs in the city infrastructure far more than a bridge that Alpena grew nicely without and when the city had even more people. Just a thought.

Allan Frank