Work is underway to repair and replace infrastructure within Tweedsmuir Provincial Park that was damaged or destroyed during the 2010 flood. Restoration projects include Young Creek bridge on the Tote Road, Stillwater trail and bridge to re-establish access to Turner Lake, Goat Creek Bridge along the Panorama Ridge trail and Burnt Bridge connection on the Valley Loop trail.
“Flood damage to Tweedsmuir Park infrastructure was very significant and has really impacted public access to and enjoyment of the Park”, said Steven Hodgson, BC Parks Area Supervisor for Bella Coola Area. “Now that most of the assessment and design work has been done, we are really looking forward to getting this repair work completed on the ground”.
The Young Creek Bridge along the Tote Road is the first project to get underway. Located slightly upstream from the two bridges that were destroyed, the new, approximately 36 metre bridge will be concrete-decked on steel girders that are spliced in the middle. The bridge was constructed over the winter and is now being transported and installed on site.
BC Parks had made the decision several months ago to put the Young Creek Bridge work out in several small contracts, rather than one large one, in order to provide more opportunity for local contractors to bid on the work.
“This has made my job a bit more complicated but it has been worth it, in my opinion,” said local Project Manager, Hans Granander. “While the bridge itself was built elsewhere, other construction aspects, including design plans, site preparation, rip rap, wood cribbing and road restoration, have been carried out by local contractors.
With the completion of the Young Creek bridge, the Tote Road will again be open to 4WD vehicle traffic, re-establishing access for private property owners, DFO and the general public who have long enjoyed using the Tote Road for recreational purposes.
“Vehicle access along the Tote Road has always been a delicate balancing act,” said Hodgson. “While it allows people access to enjoy recreational values in the Park, this section of the Atnarko River is ecologically sensitive and conservation priorities need to remain paramount”.
The Young Creek bridge is scheduled to be completed and open to vehicle traffic by late March. The Stillwater trail and bridge and the Burnt Bridge and Goat Creek bridge projects are all planned for completion during the 2013 field season.
The funding for these projects is being provided by Disaster Financial Assistance.
For any further project updates or inquiries, please contact Area Supervisor Steven Hodgson (250) 982-2701 ext. 2223 or consult the BC Parks website at www.bcparks.ca