January 9, 2021: Bill Caswell has made us aware of a letter writing campaign started by Ray Boucher to save the Vaughn Creek #1 Covered Bridge (WGN 55-11-05). According to a December 16, 2020 press release, the bridge has been scheduled "to be replaced with a two-lane steel bridge". This bridge is also known as Irish River #1
Here is Bill's notice, including Ray Boucher's letter writing protest, asking for help in this effort:
The Covered Bridges Conservation Association of New Brunswick (CBCANB) has started a letter writing campaign aimed at saving the Vaughan Creek Covered Bridge in St. Martins from destruction and replacement. The planned replacement was noted in a press release on December 16th: (https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/dti/news/news_release.2020.12.0689.html).
A letter to Ray Boucher, President of the CBCANB provided additional details indicating that the bridge is to be replaced with a two-lane steel bridge. The Government’s letter stated that “the new structure will have a wood housing to mimic a traditional covered bridge’s appearance to preserve the tourism and heritage value to New Brunswick.” There was no mention of any plans to relocate or repurpose the existing bridge. You can see an article about the bridge replacement from CBC on their website at https://tinyurl.com/y2945dhz.
The CNCANB posted a notice on their Facebook page which, in part, started:
We, of the Covered Bridges Conservation Association are upset with the news about the Vaughan Creek Covered Bridge in St. Martins. And since COVID-19 has put a damper on our activities as an association, we are urging every member of our Facebook friends to write to both their provincial MLA and their MP in Ottawa expressing their concern.
PLEASE! Add your voice to save the Vaughan Creek Covered Bridge.
Your CBCANB elected officers.
Their note included a sample letter and addresses of public officials to send it to. I have modified their letter so it is written more from an American tourist’s perspective and attached copies in Word and PDF format to this email. I encourage any of you who feel moved to help, to modify the letter as you see fit or prepare your own and send it along to one or more of the public officials listed below. If you have visited St. Martins or other covered bridges in New Brunswick, please include a mention of your personal experiences in the area.
I have included the postal addresses and email addresses for your convenience. Postage for a letter to Canada from the US is $1.20.
Thank you for your help.
Here is a copy of the drafted letter for the campaign. Also, the link for a PDF of the letter is provided below.
I have recently heard the news that the Vaughan Creek Covered Bridge (Irish River #1) in St. Martins is to be replaced.
The covered bridges of St. Martins are well-known tourist attractions and heritage structures which should be protected and preserved. Destroying one of them and replacing it with a modern bridge is eliminating a piece of New Brunswick’s history. The recent work on the Bayswater Covered Bridge (Milkish Inlet #1) proves a covered bridge can be restored to accommodate today’s traffic demands.
I am addressing this letter to both the provincial and federal levels of government because of the concern with traffic to the Fundy Trail. If both levels of government wish to promote the Fundy Park and the Trail, why would you want to destroy one of the main features of the trip. Not everything has to be new! I also have concerns about the safety of visitors to St. Martins. Visitors typically park their cars and walk to the various shops and attractions. The increase in large commercial vehicles resulting from upgrades to the road will likely cause conflicts with the substantial pedestrian traffic in the heart of the village.
I believe there are alternatives.
At least these options would preserve the only place we know of where one can take a photo of two covered bridges and a lighthouse in the same frame. Truly a unique scene.
What will happen to the existing Vaughan Creek Covered Bridge should the decision to replace it be final? Will it be destroyed as in so many other cases or will it be repurposed?
It will be a tragedy if the province’s rural history continues to be discarded. As someone interested in the future of the area, I sincerely hope the decision will be reconsidered. I urge you, as a representative of the area, to speak on my behalf and have all parties take a second look at saving this beautiful piece of the province’s heritage.
Here are the postal and email addresses of the Canadian public officials :
|Hon. Rob Moore, MP||599 Main Street, Suite 104||Hampton, NB, E5N 6C2 Canada||Rob.Moore@parl.gc.ca||Member of the Canadian Parliament representing St. Martins|
|Hon. Tammy Scott-Wallace||Minister of Tourism & Culture||77 Wheeler Road||Four Corners, NB, E4G 2W5 Canada||Tammy.Scott-Wallace@gnb.ca||Member of the NB Legislative Assembly representing St. Martins and Minister of Tourism|
|Hon. Blaine Higgs||Chancery Place||P. O. Box 6000||Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1 Canadafirstname.lastname@example.org||Premier of New Brunswick|
|Hon. Jill Green||Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure||215 Main Street, Unit 4||Fredericton, NB E3A 1E1 Canada||mailto:Jill.Green@gnb.ca||NB Minister of Transportation & Infrastructure|
Editor's note: Thanks to Ray Boucher, Bill Caswell, and James Crouse for providing this information.