Let movie industry blow up old Spences bridge

Writer suggests MOTI can save money to be spent on the town by letting the movie industry blow up the old bridge.

Dear Editor

The Old Spences Bridge, which was once part of the Trans Canada Highway infrastructure, is scheduled to be dismantled. The bridge was built in the 1930’s to provide access over the Thompson River.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) is expected to spend millions of tax dollars to dismantle the bridge without considering cheaper alternatives.

What the MOTI and Premier of BC should do is look for a cheaper alternative to spending so much tax money dismantling the bridge. One alternative would be to get the movie industry to do the dismantling, perhaps by blowing up the bridge for a movie production. The movie industry could basically subsidize, in part, the dismantling of the bridge which would benefit tax payers. Of course it would have to be blown up in an environmentally friendly way and it could not harm private property or railway infrastructure that is found on one side of the bridge. This is something that the professionals in the movie industry could handle as it is not a “Bridge Too Far” from their area of expertise.

The community of Spences Bridge is separated by the Thompson River which divides the community into a north and south side. With the closure of the Old Spences Bridge, residents and business customers must take the “newer” Spences Bridge, which increases the travel distance by up to about 4 km, in order to access the other side of the community. Closing of the old bridge will economically harm businesses in and around the village of Spences Bridge. These businesses are having difficulty now and need a boost.

If the movie industry could be used to subsidize the dismantling of the Old Spence Bridge, the money the MOTI saves could be used for economic enhancements for the Village of Spences Bridge. This would help out the businesses that are being affected by the Governments bridge closure. For example, the railways in the area blow train whistles which harms and discourages tourism and other economic activities. Government tax money saved by having the movie industry subsidize the explosive dismantling of the bridge could be used to eliminate railway whistle blowing in the area. Eliminating railway whistles would create a better community environment that  would enhance economic opportunities for local tourism operators, restaurants, motels, campgrounds, housing and more, along with increasing tax revenues for all levels of Government. This is a potential win-win situation that benefits everyone and the Government as well.

The Government  should do everything it can to encourage a high quality hit movie production firm to utilize and blow up the Old Spences Bridge in order to obtain not only a bridge dismantling subsidy, but also “free movie advertising” to promote the Province. For example, if a high quality hit movie was made utilizing the bridge, signs and credits in the movie could display to the world the beauty of the community of Spences Bridge and the Province of British Columbia. This would be a benefit to the tourism industry and would also help out various other industry sector businesses. If a box office hit movie was made and shown around the world, the advertising in the movie alone could be worth many hundreds of thousands of dollars or millions of dollars over the long run. Hit movies are watched  by people around the world, and a hit movie here could provide free advertising for the community and province for many decades to come. This is potential free advertising that Governments cannot afford in their budgets.

The Premier of British Columbia should get her appropriate Ministers involved to find a more economically efficient way of utilizing the last days of the Old Spences Bridge for the benefit of all the tax payers in the province. Thinking out of the box may just provide greater economic spinoff effects in this case. Several dozen telephone calls to movie industry representatives may just save the Government millions of dollars and provide economic benefits well into the future. This potential economic opportunity should not be blown away by the Government of British Columbia.

James Kohut

Spences Bridge

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