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Will ‘cost $2.5 million

Construction Six years of controversy has ended. Construction has started on the three-span concrete post-tensioned bridge that will cross over the Elora Gorge at its most scenic point; Canadian Environmental Law Association lawyer who has John Swaigen, fought the building of the bridge at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) the Ontario and with ‘cabinet, has run out of institutions to appeal its / construction. Swaigen sees it as a case automobiles of “putting before nature” for the sake of “saving a couple dollars of gas”. He still maintains an interest in the bridge, watching its construction to ensure that certain. passed down by ‘2 guidelines the OMB are -followed.




looks over a juncture of a river into the Grand river. Just beyond built to the sound of heavy machinery.

the juncture Photo

increase the estimated $1 million cost. project The planned would straighten County Road No. 7. Elora Reeve, Art Hoffer, 2,000 of claimed that Elmira’s 2,200 citizens supported the Elora bypass. Opposition to the project started when two members of the GRCA, Morley Rosenberg (now mayor of Kitchener), and Mike Makarchuk (who ran federally for the NDP in the recent election)

1, 1979. Imprint


sought an injunction against the land transfer that was granted by the executive committee of the GRCA. The Gorge was carved in soft limestone by the waters of melting glaciers 20,000 years ago, and today is a tourist attraction. Environmentalists wanted to preserve the Gorge, and felt that proposed bridge would ruin its, and the town of Elora’s, character. Soon, G.O.R.G.E. was

the bridge is being

by Randy


created. It stood for Group Organized to Retain the Gorge for Everyone, and was composed of groups from Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Hamilton, Toronto and other areas. Groups included ’ Pollution Probe, The Ontario Federation of Naturalists, the Sierra Club of Ontario, and the Elora Gorge Defense Fund.

History Rosenberg and Makarchuk’s attempt to stop the land transfer was dismissed

by, the Supreme Court of Ontario in July, 1975 and was later quashed by the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. . The decision ruled that the GRCA had the power to transfer the land to the county. Rosenberg and Makarchuk had argued the opposite, citing the Provincial Conservation Authorities Act which they said limited the use of prop-) erty to “conserving land and making it more attractive.” In December 1976 the Ontario cabinet ruled that the case should go before the Ontario Municipal Board. _. The OMB held hearings in the summer of 1977 and in February of 1978. All the arguments, pro and con, were presented. The bridge’s construction was accepted by the OMB last July. In their ruling, they said, “There is little doubt that the proposal is, to say the least, distasteful to all and avoided if it were reasonably possible.” Nevertheless, the need had been established. environmentalists The appealed this decision to the Ontario cabinet. It was their final effort. Said John Swaigen at the= time: “If an area like this can’t be protected, I don’t think there’s a natural area

in Ontario that can be protected under law.” He said that if the land was not protected “then the word ‘conservation’ in Ontario is meaningless.” The final appeal was lost in September when the Cabinet upheld the OMB decision. County Engineer, Allen Holmes, had won: “Every decision we’ve made has been upheld. . . It makes one feel that we did the right thing.”



There is no stopping it now. Construction is to be completed in the spring of 1981. Meanwhile the cost of the bridge has risen from $1 IdliOIl t0 $2.5 IdliOn. The $20,000 the Environmentalists spent on the bridge’s opposition “hasn’t been a complete loss”, says Swaigen. He says that pressure had made the designers of the bridge environment conscious. The bridge must have clean, simple lines and no visible supPorts that “could intrude on the scenery among other considerations.” Randy Barkman

The cover shows bulldozers on either side of the gorge clearing the land for the bases of the piers for the bridge. It was taken last week. ’

Ca-mpus What Campus should

do you think


Question be? By Ron


Correction: In our last issue’s Campus Question, Bernice Lyon’s picture was substituted for that of Gaye Martin.

Peter Bennett Math 4A Do you think the Federation serves any useful purpose?

of Students

Jo-Anne Irwin .a, How many dimples

on the ElorA Gorge bridge\

and Opposition

The conflict started April 1974 when Wellington County made a request to the Grand River Conservation Authority for a land transfer on both sides of the Elora Gorge to enable the building of the bridge. People from the town of Elora (11 miles north of Waterloo) maintained that the structure was necessary to alleviate Elora Tourist and truck traffic from the downtown area. They said that other proposed sites for the bridge would sharply

x. ‘/’





are on a golf ball?

Bob Ramsey Math 2B Is it going to rain all summer? Do you think Spring Profs are better or worse than Fall and Winter Profs?

Mike Ebert Engineering What do you campus?


of the art around

Janet Patterson ’ ’ Math 4A Do you think the CC pub should open at 12:00?

Terry Dawson Math 2B Where do you hide when



Glenn Taylor Math 3A Should students make and have access to the results of Professor Evaluations?,n31_Imprint  

- Friday, June 1 - *- Tuesday, Jtine 5 - Need camping equipment for the weekend? The Outers Club has lots of good equipment for rent. See eq...,n31_Imprint  

- Friday, June 1 - *- Tuesday, Jtine 5 - Need camping equipment for the weekend? The Outers Club has lots of good equipment for rent. See eq...