Crews work on renovating the Keith Wilson Bridge last week. The bridge will be closed for the month of August.

Crews work on renovating the Keith Wilson Bridge last week. The bridge will be closed for the month of August.

Bridge closure in Chilliwack brings temporary lull

Major repairs are underway on the Keith Wilson bridge in Chilliwack for the entire month of August. For at least one Greendale resident, the road closure has been a blessing.

Major repairs are underway on the Keith Wilson bridge for the entire month of August.

For at least one Greendale resident, the upshot of the road closure has been a blessing.

Greendale feels like a farm community again, instead of a small town along a “super-highway,” Elaine Christopher says.

She’s says she’s particularly happy about the lull in traffic noise — even if it’s only temporary.

“Now I can ride my horse without risking my life, and his, on Keith Wilson Road,” she says.

Living in the area for the past 25 years, she’d often travel along the rural road with the dogs, kids, and even the cat in tow. They’d head out on the dike, wander around, and sometimes swim in the river.

But these days, it’s too hard to even ride her horse along the road because motorists steadfastly refuse to slow down for them.

One driver even swerved toward her horse after she motioned for him to reduce his speed as he approached.

“But since the bridge has been closed down for a month, when I ride my horse, I find the cars are slowing right down,” she says. “I presume most of them are local, because usually they don’t.”

Christopher worries that one of her horses might get spooked one day.

“Things scare them and then they jump. If it’s into the traffic, it could mean a thousand pounds of horse in your lap,” she says.

For the time being, Christopher is just content to enjoy the peace and quiet of the Chilliwack farming community, while the bridge is being repaired.

“It’s convenient to have the bridge there, but it’s become a super highway for some reason,” she says. “It’s ridiculous. I think it’s too narrow for the numbers that use it and the speeds that they go.”

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

twitter.com/CHWKjourno

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