Keeping the peace and beauty of Scout Island Nature Centre available for the public is an ongoing community project, as several generous local businesses demonstrated recently.
In the fall, the 25-year-old bridge to the far island was observed to be sloping to one side, so it was examined and replacement was recommended.
The Scout Island Nature Centre Committee asked Daryl Taylor of Celtic Engineering for his advice and help.
Daryl offered to manage the project and provided engineering services, gravel and service truck, site supervision and labour.
He also obtained the required services and materials from other local contractors. “It was nice to see everybody come together and help out for this community project. All of the contractors who participated offered in-kind donations,” Daryl said.
To begin, the Likely Xats’ull Community Forest donated two 50-foot fir logs to be used as stringers.
Phil and Rod Blake debarked and slabbed the logs, then milled fir lumber for the project. United Concrete provided the concrete blocks that support the stringers, and Cariboo Interior Crane Services transported them to Scout Island.
RONA supplied timbers for the cross ties, which were delivered by volunteers. Larry Davis of Davis Environmental made sure environmental regulations were met and provided a detailed crossing plan for the installation.
The bridge replacement was completed over a two week period in mid-November. First, Ray Brown, excavator operator from Dev Ray Excavating, and Steve Doucette, supervisor for Celtic Engineering, cut the old bridge into sections and moved them to the adjacent land.
The old logs were extremely rotten and measures were taken to ensure no debris fell into the lake. The following day the footings were constructed and concrete blocks were placed on both sides.
Loads of crushed gravel and rock were delivered by United Concrete to finish the approaches.
The sections of the old bridge were taken away by Celtic Engineering and Ark Services.
Constructing the new bridge itself took three days. On day one Eldorado Log Hauling low-bedded stringers and lumber.
Ray and Steve spent the day placing and fastening the logs over the concrete blocks and timber caps.
At the end of this day the cross ties were fastened to the logs.
On day two, Steve and volunteers installed the posts, decking, railings, and support braces.
John Johnstone assisted by picking up the logs that were used to get the excavator across the water, and delivering them back to West Fraser.
On day three, volunteers Murray Hoffman, Ray Hornby, Rick Nelson, Phil Ranson, Rodger Hamilton, Rick Dawson and Fred McMechan constructed staircases at each end.
Williams Lake Field Naturalist volunteers contributed a total of 146 hours of their time to the project.
Annual funding from the Joint Committee of the Central Cariboo Regional District also helps to support our trails projects, and will help us pay for our share of the materials and services needed to complete this great project.
From the staff, membership and volunteers of the Williams Lake Field Naturalists, from the children of the Cariboo-Chilcotin, from the nature lovers who visit from around the world, and from all the creatures who call Scout Island home, an enormous and heart-felt thank you to the great companies and individuals who created our new footbridge.
Without their support, our beautiful bridge would have cost more than twice as much. Their generosity made it possible to keep providing our programs and services at the same level the community has come to expect and enjoy.