Tonawanda News —
We've all seen the railroad swing bridge that at one time connected Tonawanda Island with "the mainland." Now privately owned, the 1888 bridge is the last swing bridge in the state canal system. In it's heyday, the railroad carried lumber from the many lumber mills which lined the North Tonawanda shoreline. Bob Derner, who's responsible for building the beautiful condos on the Niagara River in Tonawanda, owns one of them, nearest to the railroad bridge. He said at one time, some folks wanted the bridge taken down. He said however, that it's an historic bridge, one that draws interest from the many people who walk by.
"I can't tell you how many people from out of town walk by on the River Walk and ask me the history of the bridge," he said. "One person was visiting from Hawaii and inquired."
Bob took it upon himself to find out the history of the bridge so he could answer the questions he receives.
"I think the city should erect a plaque that explains the history of the bridge and it's importance to our cities," he said. "It would be another historical site people could visit."
Great idea, Bob. Now we just have to hope someone is listening.
A caller inquired about work being done on the former Teddy Bear Carpet store in Webster Street in North Tonawanda. Workers were on the roof this past week, he said, and he wondered what's happening. He also claimed former Mayor Burgio and the city building inspector own the building, which is not a problem. His problem arose in his question: "If the building inspector is one of the owners, who's inspecting the building inspector's work?"
Whoever owns the now closed Richard's on Main restaurant on Main Street in Tonawanda should take care of the property whether or not it's occupied. It's an eyesore. Weeds, untamed shrubs, plants that are overgrown. Isn't there a department in the city that takes care of these unsightly messes? Shame on the owners.