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Severn and Georgian Bay communities reunited as key bridge reopens

Two Georgian Bay communities are now one again as a critical piece of infrastructure has officially reopened to traffic.

On Saturday, the Reconnect Port Severn Festival took place at Lock 45, the bridge that had been closed due to reconstruction efforts for approximately three years.

"It's been a bit of a hardship for some people to access from one side of the town to the other side of the town, by foot, by bicycle, by snowmobiles, and we're excited to have our town back open," says Roni Carli, a local business owner who is also the director of the Seg-Bay Chamber of Commerce.

Parks Canada led the construction efforts as part of what the mayor of Severn Township called a multi-million dollar investment.

"For those of you that may not know the Trent Severn Waterway, it is one of the Seven Wonders of the World as far as I'm concerned," says Mike Burkett. "It's huge! It stretches for miles and miles and miles, and the investment that the federal government is making through Parks Canada is greatly appreciated."

Saturday's festival included vendors, activities for children and musical performances. The bridge connects the Township of Georgian Bay with Seven Township, two communities that are used to being closely aligned.

"It makes it one community again where in the last couple of years, in reality, we've been two communities," says Peter Koetsier, the mayor of the Township of Georgian Bay. "So I'm very pleased to see that this work has been done, and now we're back."

Carli, who operates the Port Severn General Store, says the bridge's reopening will hopefully bring a significant boost in business for the local economy.

"It definitely will enable for our local resorts and parks and campers to be able to mobilize, to be able to take that evening stroll and visit the local shops and visit the local diners and enjoy our beautiful Georgian Bay waterways, with peace." Top Stories

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