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There is a timeline that shows projects for the city. I saw this many years ago. Is that posted somewhere people might see it? Having that available would allow me to work better with this dozen of my current understandings.

1. Everything is not planned for the same time.

2. There are many projects to be considered, some approved and some to be approved — maybe there is a list of projects under consideration?

3. This is a river city and that means bridges are essential.

4. Bridges under repair are an irritation as people have to find and use alternate routes.

5. Seeing the timeline could alleviate some fears and allow people to plan.

6. It is better to be inconvenienced than to be in the river. I was in Minneapolis three days after their bridge collapse. It is better to be inconvenienced by bridge repair or replacement than to be in the river or dead.

7. It can be cheaper to maintain than to replace but old materials rot and new methods may save time and money, and reduce expenditures in the future. Maintenance is not always a solution. Restoration is not always the best answer. Replacement is not always necessary. My opinions.

8. Restore, repair, replace — these all need to be considered using cost/benefit ratios. (That may be said as ROI or return on investment considerations these days.)

9. There are some complications to this simple cost/benefit planning. Edith Waldstein helped me understand some of these complications years ago and responded again recently. She said “When council received estimates, a repair of the bridge was going to cost nearly $2 mil., with a 25-year life span. Reconstruction of the bridge was estimated at about $3 mil. However, for probably a decade or more, every January, the City gets an invitation to accept $1 mil from the State for a reconstruction of the bridge because it has been identified by the State as one of the top bridges needing this kind of assistance. At that time, this would have brought the cost down to about $2 mil, for a bridge with a 75-year life span. However, in order to receive these funds, it must be a reconstruction and up to current bridge engineering standards.” Reconstruction and restoration are two different things. I don’t know yet what this state requirement means but I’ll be trying to learn.

10. Remember that personal projects need to be done with personal money while public projects need public funding. I believe public/private projects are the most successful.

11. Please hold any opinion about any option that you wish. Please follow my Mom’s instructions and “Keep a civil tongue in your head,” as you express your opinions or respond to the opinions of another. Cost/benefit ratio on name-calling is pathetic.

12. Please, city planners, post the Projects Timeline where it is easily accessible to the public. Council agendas allow one way for people to follow projects under consideration although people need time to consider before decision time pops up on the agenda.

I missed the consideration of the purchase of the land near the Green Bridge. I am aware that the work to shore up that area may be separate from a decision about that bridge but I would be less concerned about open discussion when the Green Bridge is again considered if the mayor had not already announced the two lane bridge his personal plan upon re-election.

Please note that name-calling is not productive and gets in the way of considerations and decisions although I must say it is sometimes satisfying to create an ugly password... Visiting son was amused that I liked to be ugly to the anonymous electronic beings.

Patricia Coffie is a storyteller and retired librarian living in Waverly. She can be reached at