Annapolis County’s Bear River Bridge is officially closed. A recent safety assessment revealed that the bridge — a former rail bridge sometimes used by hikers in the area — had deteriorated and is not safe. The area around the 450-metre steel structure is undergoing an excavation process to close the bridge safely. Steps will then be taken to secure partnerships to help renovate the bridge as part of the Trans-Canada Trail line running through the Valley. The bridge is expected to remain closed for a number of years. Although this presents some challenges for trail groups, officials hope the final outcome will be a safe, accessible, trail that can be enjoyed by all Nova Scotians. Representatives of Nova Scotia Health Promotion and the Department of Natural Resources recognize the bridge’s value as a link from Annapolis to Digby counties. They will make every effort to ensure this process is dealt with efficiently and safely.