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'It's definitely on!': Chatham to celebrate bridge reopening despite still being closed

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A celebration of the Third Street Bridge reopening in downtown Chatham is still taking place Saturday despite the bridge still being closed to traffic and pedestrians.

“Bridgerama Day 2022” is being hosted by the Historic Downtown Chatham BIA and was meant to celebrate the end of reconstruction that has lasted well over a year.

“If it opens a month from now, it's still a celebration of the opening of the bridge,” said organizer Clair Culliford.

“People heard bridge closed and thought, no Bridgerama Day on Saturday,” Culliford said. “We definitely had to take time to think about it and try to get the message out again. It's definitely on!”

Earlier this week The Municipality of Chatham-Kent said missing railings delayed the re-opening. A ribbon cutting ceremony marking the completion of the bridge project was scheduled for Friday, but was postponed because the pedestrian safety railings had not arrived on site.

According to Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff, some railings arrived Friday, with word more will be delivered soon to complete to project.

“Some of the railings are here, they're not all here,” Canniff explained. “They’ll be coming over the next little while. So once all the railings are here, we will be able to finalize a time. The contractor will be able to say, you know what I can deliver in this period of time.”

Canniff said he anticipated a completion date to be known soon, noting “significant” penalties are handed down for each day the project is delayed past its deadline.

“The show must go on!” Canniff exclaimed. “So Bridgerama is happening tomorrow on Saturday. And we're going to come out here and celebrate the bridge almost being finished.”

Bridgerama runs Saturday, July 23 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

The event will feature entertainment, sales, arts and crafts, and stories.

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