To the Editor:
Let’s see now. Motorists have two means of crossing the Trent River to/from New Bern. Boaters have only one means of moving between the Trent and Neuse Rivers. I’m a boat owner and the following has a direct impact on me and most other boaters in the area, not to mention the marinas and boat yards on the Trent River, the New Bern Yacht Club and the East Carolina YC.
A few years ago, articles in the Sun Journal reported that the old Cunningham Bridge was deemed in dire need of repair. In fact, I think it was in 2002, one of your headlines stated that the bridge was “The least safe bridge in North Carolina.” Lead paint and other issues over the years led to the decision by the state to remove the bridge.
North Carolina, according to your articles, at first said the bridge wouldn’t be replaced as there was already a new high bridge over the Trent River.
New Bern’s government and downtown merchants, I read, wanted a new high bridge or draw bridge or tunnel to replace the old Cunningham Bridge because they felt that the bridge brought them customers/visitors/money from the James City area.
The compromise reached was that the state would build the new bridge and turn it over to the city.
Now that the new bridge is completed and open, the city wants to back out of its commitment and let the state pay for its upkeep.
Then, your editorial of April 11 suggests that maybe BOATERS should pay a toll ($2/ft.?) to have the bridge opened. Are you nuts? Boaters don’t need the bridge; it’s a convenience for the city, merchants and motorists.
I’m sure federal laws prohibit blocking navigable waterways, hence draw bridges have to open for boats.
On the other hand, maybe the editorial was just a late April Fool’s joke.
Wow! If $2/ft is even being CONSIDERED, I’ll be parking at the town docks or the Galley Store from now on. In fact, it may end up with us moving our boat from the New Bern area all together. Downtown merchants need boaters to visit. We spend a fair amount in downtown on a regular basis. How will they handle the idea that the town’s two largest marinas will basically be locked behind this toll bridge?
If I had to guess, it was only a proposal or idea just thrown out there as a possibility. I seriously doubt it would make it much further than that.