Main Street Bridge in Chesley could get a new name

The Chesley bridge closed after a support crumbled in February of 2018. (Photo by Kirk Scott)

Arran-Elderslie council is considering naming the Chesley Main Street Bridge in honour of one of the community’s longest-serving families.

Mayor Steve Hammell said they have formally requested to Bruce County council that the bridge be re-named the Oswald Bridge.

It would be in honour of former mayor and county warden Ron Oswald, as well as his father, the late William Oswald, who was reeve of Elderslie Township and also warden in 1954.

Hammell said it’s a fitting tribute for all that the Oswald family has contributed to public service.

“We at Arran-Elderslie think that it’s a great idea, Ron is a great advocate for our community, still a passionate volunteer and hopefully [county council] sees it the same way we do and supports us,” said Hammell.

The 86-year old Ron Oswald attended Thursday’s inaugural session of county council and said it would be an honour to see the bridge bear his family name, adding his father would be proud, as well.

Oswald was the final mayor of the Town of Chesley and the first mayor of Arran-Elderslie following amalgamation.    He also served as Bruce County warden in 2006 and most recently served as the chair of Bruce County’s 150th anniversary committee in 2017.

The request is expected to be in front of the county’s transportation and environmental services committee on December 20.

Weather-related delays have pushed back the opening of the Chesley Main Street Bridge, with no opening date set so far.