1. The area of the proposed Covered Bridge Pit is almost five million square feet, about the size of 500 average residential properties.
2. Three public trails run within 150 metres of the site, including the Kissing Bridge Trail. One runs right through the proposed excavation site.
3. Although Capital estimates 260 to 270 truck trips per day, the actual number could be many times higher during peak times.
4. Groups of Mennonite women often gather in or under the bridge to sing hymns… in four part harmony!
5. Hundreds of trucks will enter and exit the pit daily from a location just metres from a Mennonite school house. Children walk on the shoulders of this road in dark clothing to and from school.
6. The West Montrose “Kissing Bridge” was built in 1881. It is the only remaining covered bridge in Ontario.
7. There is no shortage of gravel in Ontario or Waterloo Region. The banks of the Grand River are one of the richest sources of gravel in Ontario. There are over 2,800 quarries in the province. Aggregate is shipped from Ontario to the U.S.A.
8. If Capital Paving secures a large paving contract, such as a four-lane highway, they will be allowed to operate around the clock.
9. The local Kiwanis club hosts a carol sing in the bridge in early December. The event attracts hundreds of carolers from around the Region.
10. The floor of the bridge is composed of approximately 1,300 16-foot sections of 2”X 4” lumber, laid by local old order Mennonites - nailed together and stood on edge for strength.
11. “Horse and buggy” Mennonites use the gravel road at the south end of the bridge to get to their “meeting house”, about a kilometre up that road.
12. Capital Paving intends to build a conveyor over the gravel road south of the bridge to carry rock over the horses and buggies to a large crusher.
13. On a typical Sunday, dozens of buggies use the gravel road to travel to and from church.
14. Capital Paving plans to excavate and re-route this road, forcing horses and buggies to detour through an un-rehabilitated gravel pit… or seek another route.
15. Dozens of couples are married each year on the banks of the river by the covered bridge.
16. Capital Paving will pay the township twenty cents per tonne for the gravel they extract. At 500,000 tonnes per year, that represents only $100,000 in revenues to the municipality.
17. In 2004 Waterloo Region attracted almost 2.4 million person tourist trips, generating $390 million in revenue, supporting 3,200 jobs and contributing $5 million in municipal taxes.
18. The “bridgekeeper” lived in the house at the south end of the bridge. Until the late 1950’s he would light kerosene lanterns in the bridge every night. In the winter, he would shovel snow into the bridge to accommodate Mennonites’ sleighs!
19. Gravel companies are not required to pay for the damage their trucks cause to local roads. In fact, they win contracts to repair the roads… at a sizeable profit!
20. The cost to build the bridge in 1881… $3,197.50. The cost of structural repairs done in 1999… over $300,000! The cost for the bridge’s first coat of paint… $74.25. The “covered bridge experience”… priceless!