Professional curmudgeon John McGauley’s takedown column (“An unabridged view of the city’s latest purchase,” April 10) on Pathways For Keene was mean-spirited and cheap.

Pathways For Keene has been building a network of trails on the old railroad beds that radiate out from the center of Keene, once a rail hub. Their latest project is to reuse a state bridge stored for such a purpose. Price: one dollar.

This is cheaper than the South Bridge and North Bridge, built new in recent years. So one would think. But not McGauley. He has thrown shade on the activities of the citizens group. He roars out in protest. Using the shopworn “Brooklyn Bridge for Sale” canard. Scaring the daylights out of the readers. “Lions and tigers and bridges, oh my!”

But reusing a bridge has been done before here in the Elm City. Remember Michael E.J. Blastos, our popular mayor? He found a bridge for next to nothing. Military surplus. A Bailey bridge. For the Island Street crossing. Have there been any problems with it since it was installed in 1979? Have you heard of any problems with it? Me either.

The sad thing is that if McGauley is successful in scuppering this project, the public’s full enjoyment of the stone arch railroad bridge nearby will be impaired. The Salem bridge acts as an approach span to it. Opening up a promising new public park, and a trail should be reconnected. Our great Stone Arch Bridge is the first thing one sees when approaching from the east.

Shouldn’t we be building bridges in these troubling times?