THE January floods in 2011 left us all gobsmacked.
How many times have we heard that Tenterfield never floods?
While we didn’t cop the total devastation and loss of life of Grantham, the flood still made its presence felt in Tenterfield Shire.
Farmers were left without fencing and crops, and water surged through a number of people’s homes. For some people, it was one blow too many and they wondered how they were going to pick themselves up again.
One of the images it will be difficult to forget is the fire truck stuck up to its axle on the Molesworth Street bridge approach.
It’s even harder to forget because the bridge has remained closed - except for one brief opening - for the 15 months since that time.
The Molesworth Street bridge is a vital link between the eastern and western sides of the town of Tenterfield and it has remained a fenced off eyesore for too long.
It is true that government funding to replace flood-damaged infrastructure only covers the cost of restoring that infrastructure to its former condition.
There may be bridges in this shire we cherish as reminders of former times, but it’s hard to put the Molesworth Street bridge in this category.
At the moment, it appears as an impassable crumbling termite trap and it’s hard to see the value in restoring it to its “former condition”.
The problems with the bridge could have been seen as an opportunity to spend ratepayers funds to upgrade the structure.
We are hoping this town - both sides of it - will be here for a long time to come. Let’s hope our Molesworth Street bridge not only re-opens, but lasts the distance.