A bridge across Rogers Creek has been hanging just out of reach for decades—the subject of referendums and much public debate.
But as of June 30, city of Port Alberni director of parks, recreation and heritage Scott Kenny has done the impossible and a long awaited pedestrian bridge now spans the creek.
“I guess we did, yes,” said Kenny.
The 90-foot bridge, says Kenny, is the crowning piece of a brand new trail system in the Rogers Creek ravine. The city partnered with West Coast Aquatic to combine funding and construct both the trail system and new salmon channels.
The work is funded by $100,000 out of the city’s budget and a $140,000 grant from Rec Fish to WCA.
The city’s portion will cover the two to three kilometres of trails that will run from behind the Fall Fair grounds, to the bridge and up the other side to exits at Tebo Avenue and Cherry Creek Road.
West Coast Aquatic will cover the salmon enhancement work.
The bridge itself comes from just above the ravine in the Fall Fair grounds. It’s the same type of bridge as was installed across Kitsuksis Creek last summer beside the Gertrude Street crossing, Kenny said.
It’s located about 16 metres off the bottom of the creek channel, high enough up to survive a one-in-200-year flood event. Pipe and chain railings will be added in the coming days.
The trails leading up to the bridge will be three metres wide and smooth enough to be easily accessible. Wheelchairs will be able to go on the flatter sections but due to the topography of the ravine, likely only the top sections will be flat enough.
The trails will be made out of a gravel finish known as a crusher chip.
“It’s called golf cart path material so it’s fine and it packs really tight,” said Kenny.
The initial phase of the trails will be done by the end of July though Kenny said that with the way the budget has been stretched, more trails might be possible.