Council notices in our papers this week warn the Dublin St Bridge will be closed to all traffic on Saturday, February 10, from 6am to 5pm. It's for "programmed resurfacing work", they say.
I wonder how many Whanganui District Council decision-makers are domiciled on the east side of the river. More than one would have meant a little extra thought might have gone into this interesting decision to close the bridge on a very busy day, at a time when the only other access to the other side is constricted by long-term road repairs.
In fact, Saturday's closure was postponed yesterday due to a forecast of bad weather, but the threat is still there ... Saturday week now looks an ominous possibility.
There is no doubt the Dublin St Bridge needs resurfacing. Mind you, it needed resurfacing five minutes after the last "programmed" job. It was — and is — a disgrace, and I hope that contractor doesn't get a look-in this time, regardless of how cheap it promises to be.
But why close the bridge on a Saturday when River Traders' Markets, sports events and sundry other things on in town and in the suburbs mean there is a constant need to cross from one side of the river to the other all day? Neither does business stop, so there will still be trade vehicles, vans and trucks wanting to cross the water during the hours the bridge is closed.
Imagine the bottleneck and traffic queues at the City Bridge, whether vehicles are turning towards town or continuing through Putiki, there will be mayhem on the road between the Taylorville traffic lights and back to Whanganui East.
To say the resurfacing is "programmed" implies an inflexibility in the timing of such work, but sometimes common sense has to come into the equation.
Now is not a good time to close the Dublin St Bridge for a whole day. Not while there is a bottleneck at the City Bridge and not on such a busy day.
Please wait until the SH4 work is done and traffic can move freely there again. We can put up with the rubbish seal on the Dublin St Bridge carriageway until then, surely.